Welcome! This site is written for Social Security disability claimants, for their legal representatives, and for the network of people involved in the Social Security disability claim process. I hope you find it helpful.
Free Claim Review

Social Security now provides a check sheet, in the form of an online fillable PDF, for on the records requests.

An “on the record” (OTR) request asks Social Security to grant your case on the record without a hearing. This request is for claims awaiting a hearing at the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). On the record decisions can only be fully favorable. You cannot lose your case on the record. Rather, if the OTR request is denied, your claim simply stays in line for a hearing.

OTRs are favored by Social Security, when appropriate. Why go though the hearing process, and all the work to prepare a claim for hearing, if the claim is definitely going to be granted? Cases granted on the record free up resources for other claims.

In my view, OTR requests should only be filed in a minority of cases, where a favorable result is mandated by the evidence and by Social Security’s rules and regulations. The medical evidence in the record should be up to date before an on the record request is filed.

An OTR request is certainly appropriate 1) if the claimant meets a listed impairment, or 2) if PRW is clearly precluded at Step 4 and the claim would be decided favorably at step 5 by the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. Such claims are clear-cut winners. Claims that require a decision based on subjective evidence (such as the level of the claimant’s pain), or claims that would require vocational evidence, are not strong candidates for an on the record decision.

Next time you are considering an on the record request, check out the check sheet.