Social Security Disability: On the Record Decisions


Any individual who has been denied Social Security disability benefits has the right to appeal that decision. On the Record (OTR) reviews are available and recommended to individuals moving forward with the appeal process. An OTR decision is made by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) prior to an appeal hearing. To secure a favorable OTR decision, you must provide sufficient medical evidence to prove your disability without the need for further clarification.

How to Get an OTR Review

To become eligible for an OTR review, you must first request an appellate hearing with the Social Security Administration (SSA) within a certain amount of time after receiving a denial. From there, there are two ways to receive an OTR review:

  1. A hearing officer may initiate the OTR review if enough supporting evidence is submitted as a part of your case; or
  2. You can request an OTR review. It is unlikely that another party involved in the hearing process will initiate an OTR review, so it is generally up to you to request one. You should make the request to your local Office of Hearings Operations, state why you require disability benefits, and include specific medical evidence supporting your disability claim.

What Happens Next?

After you successfully submit a request for an OTR review, you can expect one of three outcomes. First, an attorney adjudicator may contact you for further information regarding your request. In the event your medical evidence was not clear enough, the attorney adjudicator may need more information such as the onset date of your disability.

Second, your OTR decision may be granted. In this case, the request and supporting medical evidence you provided are sufficient enough to grant Social Security Disability benefits.

Third, your OTR decision may be denied. If the OTR decision is denied, this does not mean you will not receive benefits. This only means the appeal will move onto a formal hearing before an ALJ to make a decision.

Benefits of an OTR Decision

An OTR decision can greatly expedite the appeals process and avoids a hearing with the SSA. Depending on the area and amount of resources, an SSA hearing may take months or even years to occur, and that waiting period can be challenging. An OTR review can happen quickly after proper review, eliminates the need for a hearing, and allows you to receive the benefits you deserve.

Importance of Legal Representation

Having legal representation from a steadfast disability attorney can simplify the OTR request process and ensure all proper information is given. An OTR requires a well written brief and certain medical evidence to increase the likelihood of approval. A disability lawyer who is familiar with OTR requests could ensure your brief is convincing and can inquire with your physicians on specific medical evidence that can better support your claim. At the Khaki Law Firm, we specialize in Social Security Disability Law. If you believe you qualify for an OTR decision, call us today to see how we can help.

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