A “Notice of Decision-Fully Favorable” means the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found the claimant disabled—from the alleged onset date, their disability began through the date of the decision.

What Does Partially Favorable Decision Mean?

A “Notice of Decision—Partially Favorable” means the ALJ made a determination which differs from what the claimant was asking. This generally occurs in two situations: (1) The ALJ finds the claimant disabled, but the disability started at a different later date; or (2) The ALJ finds the claimant disabled, but they have medically improved. In the second scenario, the individual will receive benefits only for what we call a closed period of disability.

Can A Fully Favorable Decision Be Reversed?

The Appeals Council can review any decision made by an ALJ—favorable or unfavorable. While rare, the Appeals Council can find the ALJ made an error and reverse a fully favorable decision. The claimant can submit additional evidence or comment to support the ALJ’s decision. In very limited circumstances, benefits may start during the review process.

How Does The ALJ Handle Cases Where Drug Or Alcohol Abuse May Be A Factor?

ALJs always look at how a claimant’s impairments affect their functioning at work; even if the person is still using illegal drugs or alcohol. Only after the ALJ determines a claimant is disabled, do they look at the effects drug or alcohol abuse has on the individual. ALJs must determine whether the drugs and alcohol were material to the determination of disabled. ALJs look for periods of time when the claimant was not using drugs or alcohol to see how they are functioning. Social Security believes the best evidence of functioning is when the individual has a period of sobriety lasting at least 30 days. If the claimant’s symptoms subsided sufficiently, the ALJ may find that drugs and alcohol were material and conclude the claimant was not disabled.

For more information on Notice Of Decision Fully Favorable In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (214) 373-3761 today.

by Carl M. Weisbrod
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law

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