I represent a 50 year old former firefighter, who received a partially favorable decision (the “PFD”). The PFD stated that the claimant became disabled on July 1, 2010 (the “EOD”), not his alleged onset date (“AOD”) of April 1, 2005. Nothing in the record mentioned July 1, 2010. The EOD was simply plucked out of thin air.
I convinced the claimant to pursue an onset appeal, to have him found disabled as of the AOD. The Administrative Law Judge agreed that the medical evidence supported the AOD, and issued a fully favorable decision today. The end result is that the claimant will receive about an additional year of benefits.
Before deciding to accept a PFD, a claimant should always consult with an attorney. A successful onset appeal can result in a significant amount of additional monetary benefits. Moreover, the earlier a claimant is found disabled, the sooner the claimant can receive Medicare, which has a two year waiting period.