On August 9, 2007, Social Security Administration issued a rule authorizing some attorney advisors to review case files and issue fully favorable decisions “on the record” (OTR), where the evidence in its entirety warrants disability. The practice was originally passed as a temporary measure to provide more timely service to claimants waiting for a hearing before an administrative law judge. However, Social Security Administration has seen success with the program and continues to extend the rule beyond its expiration date. The current rule has been extended through August 3, 2018.
Once you have filed a request for a hearing, you may request an “on the record” review of your case file, or an attorney advisor at Social Security Administration may initiate a review on their own. If an attorney advisor reviews the file, they may call you with more specific questions to make their determination. If the record clearly establishes disability as of your requested onset date, they may grant a fully favorable decision without a hearing. If their review does not grant disability, you may proceed with your case at a hearing before an administrative law judge. There is no penalty to have your case reviewed.
Issuing a fully favorable decision on the record will require all material documents to be in your file. The file should include an accurate work history report, function report, and all medical evidence dating to your alleged onset date.
You may hire a private attorney or representative to advise and assist you in securing the proper documents to support your claim. Your attorney can seek out treating source statements from your medical providers that they might not otherwise provide. Your representative can also negotiate the alleged onset date with the attorney adjudicator at Social Security Administration, if the record establishes disability at a date later than the one you requested. Even if you are unable to win your case “on the record,” an attorney or representative can further advise you on how to best proceed at the hearing.