About 65% of initial Social Security disability benefit claims are denied. If your initial claim is denied, it’s important to remember that the fight for benefits is far from over. Most applicants who are in this position choose to file an appeal, which gives them another chance to prove that they qualify for benefits. There are many steps in the process of appealing a decision, but one that is often overlooked is the on-the-record review.
What Happens After You File An Appeal?
You must know what happens after you file an appeal to understand how an on-the-record review works. If you file an appeal, your claim will enter the reconsideration stage of the appeals process. During this stage, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will conduct a complete review of your claim similar to the review that was conducted when the claim was initially submitted. If the person who conducts this review agrees with the initial denial, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge who will decide whether or not you qualify for benefits.
What is an On-the-Record Review?
You may need to wait months—sometimes even years—for a hearing with an administrative law judge. Many people can’t afford to wait this long for benefits. If you want to speed up the process, your attorney may suggest requesting an on-the-record review.
An on-the-record review occurs after an appeal is denied in the reconsideration stage, but before a hearing with an administrative law judge. If you request this review, an administrative law judge will carefully review your medical records and reach a decision outside of a hearing.
The judge will approve or deny your claim after reviewing the evidence in your file. If it’s approved, you will start receiving benefits. There is no penalty for a denial, so you can carry on with your appeal if the judge rejects your claim during an on-the-record review.
Should You Request an On-the-Record Review?
An on-the-record review is not right for everyone. The judge will only look at the evidence in your file when making this decision, so if you are relying on expert witness testimony to strengthen your case, an on-the-record review may not be appropriate. This review is best for applicants who have recently submitted new medical records that strengthen their claim and clearly prove their disabilities. For these applicants, an on-the-record review can shorten the appeals process and help them get the benefits they deserve as quickly as possible.
Are you appealing the denial of your disability claim? If so, seek legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. We will stand by your side through every step of the appeals process to fight for the benefits you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll-free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.