What’s an On the Record Review for Disability Claims?

on the record review

The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits (and potentially appealing your denial) can drag out for months or even years.

Meanwhile, you’re unable to maintain a full-time job, which makes it challenging to make ends meet. If the Social Security Administration denies your initial application, you can still appeal. This could mean attending a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, but this can take between 12 and 18 months. If you’re wondering if it’s possible to expedite this process, the answer, generally speaking, is yes. Keep in mind, you won’t always be successful at moving up your court date. One such method that often works is requesting an on the record review.

What Is An On The Record Review?

Anyone waiting for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge can request an on the record review. It involves an ALJ reviewing your case file (i.e., the record) to possibly make a decision before your actual hearing.

If you have provided sufficient medical evidence and written information regarding your condition, the judge may grant you a favorable ruling for your OTR review. Anyone who was initially denied Social Security disability and decided to appeal may request an on the record review.

In order for the judge to rule in your favor, you must provide enough information showing you’re disabled without introducing new data.

People who believe the have provided the SSA with plenty of medical evidence and want to try an OTR review can request one through their local Office of Disability and Adjudication Review shortly after filing a request for an appeal hearing. In your OTR request, you want to explain why you should be considered disabled as well as an explanation of notes relating to your medical records. The other way to have an OTR review is in a hearing officer initiates the process for you. This might happen if you provide additional supporting medical proof and the officer feels that a hearing isn’t necessary.

What Happens When You Request An On The Record Review?

There are several things that might happen after you ask for an on the record review. These include:

  • A favorable outcome: If the SSA feels you provided sufficient information, they may approve your Social Security disability claim.
  • A denial: If the SSA cannot make a decision using written information without a hearing, your on the record review might fail. It’s important to note they won’t penalize you in any way for denying your on the record review.
  • An attorney might contact you: An attorney adjudicator may be reviewing your file. That adjudicator may call you with additional questions, such as if you’re currently working or needing your disability onset date. Be as descriptive and detailed as possible with your answers, and always tell the truth.

Why Should You Consider Requesting An On The Record Review?

If you’re hoping to speed up the process, an OTR review is one way to achieve this goal. This shortens your wait time to hear back from the SSA about your disability claim. Additionally, having an OTR review may negate the need for an actual hearing, which could put added mental or physical stress on you.

You May Qualify for Legal Assistance

If you want to request an on the record review during your appeal, a disability attorney can make it easier. A Social Security attorney can double your chances for benefit approval the first time you apply. Those who qualify for legal assistance through this website typically get $10,000 in lump-sum backpay as well as monthly disability. People who apply on their own without help usually wait 18-24 months before their first payment arrives. However, the SSA approves less than 2 in every 5 disability applicants every year, on average.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

Get Your Free Benefits Evaluation