Should You Submit an On the Record Request?

What Is an OTR Request?

An on-the-record (OTR) request is submitted prior to an actual SSA hearing. The goal of the request is to get a judge to make a decision based solely on written information in a person’s case file, relying primarily on the medical evidence.

While a successful OTR can expedite the Social Security benefits process and avoid the need for a hearing, these requests are generally only granted in very specific cases — so it can be a waste of time and resources to write one if the likelihood of it being approved is very slim.

Should You Submit an On the Record Request?

When it comes to an OTR request, it’s important to make a clarification about it. I would not recommend that someone without a legal background write or submit this type of request on his or her own. An OTR request needs to be heavily cited in both Social Security law and the case record for a judge to take it seriously. And even then, very few are granted.

The reason so few are granted is because it’s essentially awarding benefits based on medical records alone, without any testimony from the claimant. Not only could it be viewed as a waste of someone’s time to submit this request by themselves, but sending an improper communication to the judge could potentially harm their claim.

Therefore, it’s critical to meet with an experienced legal professional before making the decision to have this request written and submitted. If you’re interested in learning more about an OTR request, let’s take a look at some additional details about how they are occasionally utilized for Social Security disability claims:

What Type of Information Does This Request Contain?

Procedural history, factual summary, and case theory are the three main sections an OTR request typically contains. The first section is used to recap the history of the case (filing dates, deadlines) as well as the type of benefits that are being sought. The second section focuses on the medical and other evidence that proves the presence of a disability. This includes things such as progress notes, blood tests, x-rays, and MRIs. The last section puts it all together and explains why the medical evidence supports a finding of disability under the Social Security Regulations.

An OTR can also be used to provide an explanation for any negative facts appearing in the record, which could refer to issues such as an applicant who has a history of alcohol or drug abuse or noncompliance with medical treatment. And as mentioned earlier, in order for the request to be given any real consideration, it needs to be properly cited.

Don’t Hesitate to Discuss Your Case With a Social Security Disability Attorney

Whether you’ve already filed an application for disability benefits and had it denied, or you still have questions about what you need to do in order to get this process started, you can start getting answers to your questions by setting up a free consultation with the law firm of Lisa M. Ritacco.