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Review your Fully Favorable decisions


When I see that a Social Security disability case has been closed, I review the ALJ decision online long before the paper copy arrives in the mail. For unfavorable decisions, of course you are looking at the reasoning of the decision, and for flaws that would support an appeal to the Appeals Council. But it is worth reviewing your Fully Favorable decisions as well.

One reason is to see what RFC the judge adopted, and therefore what theory of disability was accepted by the judge. Itis valuable to know what was persuasive to the judge, as a reference point for future cases.

Also, when reviewing your Fully Favorable decisions, check the onset date in the decision to make sure it is correct. It almost always is. But I just had a case where the onset date was amended at the hearing. The amended onset date was June 1, 2020. I confirmed that amended alleged onset date in a post hearing letter. When the decision was issued, however, it had the onset date listed as June 1, 2022. Yikes! That change would eliminate two years of disability benefits.

It was clearly an error, and it was quickly fixed with a phone call and a faxed letter to the hearing office. Fortunately I caught it on the day the decision was issued. Had I not caught it, we would not have known about the problem until the Notice of Award arrived, and it likely would have taken much more time and effort to remedy. So take a few minutes to review your Fully Favorable decisions. Then call your client and give them the good news.



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