The alleged onset date (“AOD”) is the date that the applicant claims his or her inability to work began. A decision is fully favorable when it grants disability benefits back to the AOD. A decision is a partially favorable decision when it grants disability benefits after the AOD.
An administrative law judge (“ALJ”) may ask the claimant to amend the AOD to a later date in order to avoid issuing a partially favorable decision. By making the decision "fully favorable," it is unlikely that the Appeals Council would overturn or send the case back to the ALJ if appealed. Reduced past due benefits may be a good trade off when increasing the chances of continued future benefits.
One basis for agreeing to an amended AOD is insufficient medical proof. The AOD may lack solid evidentiary support. I agreed to an amended AOD for a claimant today in order to receive a fully favorable decision because I agreed with the ALJ, whom I know to be fair. However, I have rejected similar requests many times in the past from other ALJs, when I disagreed that evidence was lacking. It is an important decision that should be made with your attorney.