Problems for disability claimants who are not successful with an ALJ Hearing can often be traced back to inconsistencies in the application for benefits, or delays in getting medical evidence when the claim was first filed, many months earlier.
After the ALJ has made a disability decision, the Decision Review Board may decide to review the ALJ's decision. Cases are review by "computer-based predictive screening tools" that look for "likelihood of error." Social Security is using this computer process to promote accurate, consistent and fair decisions by all the ALJ's, nationwide.
The Decision Review Board picks both favorable and unfavorable decisions to review. In other words, even if you win your case, the Decision Review Board might decide to look at it, and take back the benefits awarded by the ALJ! Regulations Governing the Disability Review Board. If the Decision Review Board decides to review your case, they have 90 days to do so. So, the payment of your benefits can be delayed for up to another 90 days, even after you have won benefits awarded by the ALJ.
If the Decision Review Board decides not to review your case, the ALJ's decision becomes the "final decision." There are two ways the system works if there is no review by the DRB, depending on how the ALJ decided your case::
- If the ALJ's decision was against you, you have 60 days to appeal to Federal Court.
- If the ALJ's decision was favorable to you, you will receive your benefits.