While most cases scheduled for a hearing actually end up actually presented to a judge, Social Security judges are allowed to approve cases based on the evidence alone. A case approved without your having to appear to testify is said to be approved “on the record.”
Some judges are more open to on-the-record rulings than others. Your credibility, or believability, constitutes a major factor for the judge to consider and your judge can only get a sense of how believable you are will be for him to meet you face to face at a hearing.
On the other hand, I have represented many claimants where the medical record clearly points to a finding of disability. These are usually cases where there are:
- MRI records
- CT scans
- Myelogram reports
- other diagnostic treatment reports
- extensive treatment records from multiple doctors all saying the same thing
If I know that your judge is open to considering making a finding on the record, I will prepare a detailed pre-hearing brief that sets out my argument and the evidence supporting your claim.
If the judge approves your case on the record, you will not have to actually attend a hearing, and your payments will be processed that much faster.