The term OTR is an acronym the SSA uses for an On The Record decision. This means that a decision will be made based on the medical evidence contained in the claimant’s file without the need to schedule a hearing.
In some cases, when an Administrative Law Judge reviews a case file that has been assigned to them for a hearing they can decide to make an OTR decision. This usually occurs when there is a plethora of medical records contained in the claimant’s file that clearly show the presence of a significant condition that has severely limited the claimant’s functional abilities. The type of exhibits that are often the most helpful in these cases are MRI’s, CT scans, specific diagnostic testing, records of surgeries or certain types of procedures that document abnormal results and physician notes that outline a worsening progression of the condition.
Many cases do make it to the scheduled hearing, but just because that happens does not mean that the case is not strong enough for an OTR to be made. Often times, many months pass from the time the judge initially reviews a case and more current records are added to the claim. This is why it is so important that you communicate with your attorney’s office and keep them informed and updated of any new diagnoses and treatment.
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