Oct 21, 2011

New Rules On Partially Favorable Attorney Advisor Decisions

From today's Federal Register:
We are revising the procedures for how claimants who receive fully favorable revised determinations based on prehearing case reviews or fully favorable attorney advisor decisions may seek further review. We are also revising our procedure to provide that we will notify claimants who receive partially favorable determinations based on prehearing case reviews that an administrative law judge (ALJ) will still hold a hearing unless all parties to the hearing tell us in writing that we should dismiss the hearing request. These changes will simplify our administrative review process and free up scarce administrative resources that we can better use to reduce the hearings-level case backlog.


Anonymous said...

While the federal register notice is not the easiest thing to understand (what happened to the plain language initiative), the partially favorable determination discussion only applies to DDS determinations or ALJ decisions.

Attorney advisors can only issue FULLY favorable decisions.

Anonymous said...

The system could work better if the Senior Attorney (or other prehearing review) were allowed to give partially favorable (usually a later onset date when there is little question of disability) and an option to seek hearing for the remaining claim (or possibly de novo, putting the whole claim up before the ALJ). And if evidence at the later hearing showed no disability at any time, then the earlier partialy favorable could be set aside.
Many claimants (and representative) may be quite happy for a timely partially favorable decision and not require/risk a full ALJ hearing.