Your disability application was denied on a technicality, so you’re positive that your appeal will get your benefits approved. However, you still have to wait up to a year to get your case scheduled because your district is overwhelmed with requests. Is there a way to speed up the processing of your case?

On-the-Record Requests Can Give You Benefits Without a Hearing

When you schedule a hearing, you are requesting that a judge hear your case in person (with or without a representative), listen to witnesses, read through evidence, and then issue a decision. It is far simpler and less time consuming to simply ask the judge to look over your file and decide whether you should receive benefits. This is called an on-the-record decision and allows an applicant to skip the Social Security disability hearing process for faster approval.

In order to ask for an on-the-record decision, you should write a letter to the judge who will hear your case and include the following information:

  • Summary. Make your case to the judge as straightforward as you can. Start with a short recap of your injury, the date you first applied for Social Security, reasons given for denial, and any other benefits you were denied or are currently collecting.
  • Medical records. You must back up your claims with sufficient medical evidence. Include copies of x-rays, CT scans, blood tests, and any other diagnostic testing that proves your condition is as you described. If your condition has worsened, provide test results from the date of your application as well as your most recent test results so that the judge can have a clear comparison.
  • Work restrictions. Address your specific limitations and how they prevent you from doing the work that you have been trained to do. You may explain your limitations yourself, but you should also include medical opinions from your doctor or specialist, such as restrictions on your ability to lift heavy objects or stand for long periods.
  • Explanations. Offer an explanation for why the reason given for your denial is not a fair and accurate judgment of your condition. For example, if you performed part-time work after applying for benefits, you may explain how the work could be done with your disability, but cannot be performed today due to a worsened condition.

Our Advice Could Get You Faster Social Security Disability Approval

These requests are usually only successful if the applicant has a great deal of medical evidence to support his claim. If you are unsure you would be approved for an on-the-record decision, click the contact link on this page to speak with an attorney. Your contact with us is free, and you owe us nothing unless we win your case.


Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer
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