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So the day has come: you’ve received your decision notice in the mail. You open the much-anticipated letter only to read, “Decision Notice—Partially Favorable” scrolled across the top.
What does this mean, exactly? It means you have been approved, but just as the term suggests, you’ve only been partially approved. This can happen for two reasons.
The first is that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has found you disabled, but on a different date than what you initially alleged on your application. This means that the ALJ agrees that you are disabled but doesn’t agree with your choice of onset date, or disability date. The ALJ may decide that your onset date is later than what you originally alleged if you worked, had a significant diagnosis, or started receiving medical treatment after said alleged onset date.
This will, of course, reduce the amount of back-pay you receive, since the ALJ has determined you disabled on a date after your alleged onset date.
A partially favorable decision can also determine the type of disability benefits you receive. For example, if you have both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) , but your date-last insured (DLI) for your SSDI claim is prior to the onset date the ALJ has decided on, you will only be eligible for SSI benefits.
The second reason an ALJ may grant partial approval is because you have been awarded disability for a closed-time period, meaning you will receive benefits for a particular time period. However, these benefits will not continue into the future. Again, the ALJ agrees you are disabled, but only during a specific timeframe.
This typically occurs when an individual’s conditions have medically improved enough, or even resolved, that they are able to return to work. Like most things in the world of disability, Partially Favorable Disability Decision can be confusing.
The very first thing you can do is contact the Social Security Administration and ask them for all of your records, then take consultant from an experienced Social Security lawyer. The case can be complicated, and you can get to the core of the system to get a fully favorable decision.
You can contact our office or fill out this form to have us call you.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law