After a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) claim has been denied, but before a hearing takes place, a claimant can ask for a fully favorable decision on the record (“OTR”). The OTR summarizes the medical and vocation evidence, and explains why the applicable Social Security rules, regulations and law show that a hearing is not need to approve SSD benefits. Even if the OTR is not approved, it can still benefit the claimant.
I submitted an OTR for a 49 year old former youth coordinator who was hit by a car. Despite serious injuries, and against his doctors’ advice, the claimant returned to work. I requested an OTR for the period of time before the claimant resumed working. While the OTR was rejected, it still yielded benefits.
ALJ Weiselthier was assigned the hearing, and he had arranged for a medical expert to appear. I was summoned to speak with the ALJ before the claimant arrived. I was advised that since the medical expert would confirm the contentions raised in the OTR regarding the claimant’s medical condition the case would be approved. After a short hearing on the record, the claimant’s application was officially granted. I told this to the claimant as I bumped into him entering the hearing office when I was leaving.