I represent a 48-year-old postal carrier whose application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits was approved today by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). I had amended the onset date from 2008 to January 2010 at the claimant’s hearing, but the ALJ’s decision said that the onset date had been amended to June 2010.
If the ALJ simply made a mistake, then the decision has to be amended to reflect the correct date to avoid the claimant’s losing six months of SSD benefits. If the ALJ did not make a mistake, then the decision needs to be rewritten as a partially favorable decision, so an onset appeal can be filed. Regardless of the ALJ’s reason for selecting June 2010 as the new onset date, the decision was not “fully favorable.” Every decision, and notice of award, needs to be scrutinized carefully to ensure that benefits are not being forfeited.