Friday, December 10, 2010

On The Record Requests

One way to avoid hearing delays after a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) claim has been denied is to file a request for a fully favorable decision on the record (“OTR”). The OTR summarizes the medical and vocation evidence, and explains why the rules and regulations show that a hearing is not needed.

A strong argument for having an OTR approved is that disability is required under a Medical-Vocational Rule. I represent a 52 year old former quality control engineer whose OTR was approved in less than two months. I submitted a report from the claimant’s physiatrist, as well as the treating chiropractor, that he claimant was unable to perform sedentary work. The OTR pointed out that even if the claimant were capable of sedentary work, in light of the claimant’s adverse vocational factors, he would have to be found disabled pursuant to Medical – Vocational Rule 201.14.

The Attorney Advisor’s opinion accepted the argument for the application of Rule 201.14, and approved the OTR. As a result, the claimant did not have to wait for a hearing, which typically takes well over a year. For most SSD claimants, receiving the SSD benefits sooner is important because cash flow becomes a problem when they no longer have a steady income.

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