Social Security On The Record Disability Decisions

An on the record disability decision is made by an administrative law judge, generally at the request of an individual's social security representative, who may be a disability lawyer or a non-attorney representative.

On the record disability decisions must be fully favorable to the disability applicant. In other words, if the decision cannot be made in a fully favorable way (fully favorable means that the judge accepts the onset date alleged by the claimant at the time of filing a disability application), then the claimant is entitled to have their case considered at a social security hearing.

Note: 'On the record' simply means the disability decision is being made on the evidence currently in the disability case file.

Disability claims that are straightforward have the best chance of receiving an on the record decision. A strong disability case must be documented with good quality medical evidence and a concise evaluation of the applicant's functional limitations. To be considered a good candidate for an on the record decision a disability case must clearly show that the five step Social Security sequential evaluation process would produce a finding of disability.

Social Security administrative law judges are increasingly pressured to reduce their caseloads and on the record decisions are becoming more common. If fully favorable decisions can be made without a formal hearings it saves time and money for Social Security, while getting much needed monetary benefits to disabled beneficiaries sooner.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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