Getting a Partly Favorable or Partially Favorable decision in a Social Security disability claim is confusing for a lot of people.
First, lets go over what it does not mean. Under the Social Security system, there is no partly or partially disabled. Either your impairments keep you from being able to work (and therefore disabled) or not. There is no half disabled. Disability determinations under the Social Security system are all or nothing. Comment: This is also one reason it is so hard to get on Social Security.
So, the judge has to either find you disabled or not disabled. However, even if the judge finds you disabled, the judge may not be able to give you everything you asked for. In those cases, you get a partly favorable decision.
If you get a partly favorable decision, it usually means one of three things:
- Social Security disagrees with the date you became disabled.
- Social Security disagrees that your disability continues.
- Social Security disagrees with the beginning and/or ending dates of your disability.
Lets take these one at a time:
Social Security disagrees with the date you became disabled.
Lets say you claim your disability began on December 2003. If you kept working (at a substantial gainful activity level – i.e. full time) after December 2003, or if the medical records do not support that you were disabled back to that date, the Judge may only be able to find you disabled as of a later date.
Social Security disagrees that your disability continues.
The judge may agree that you were disabled, but may not think that your disability continues. Using the prior example, the Judge may agree that you were disabled in 2003, but feels that your condition improved to the point that you were able to return to full-time employment in June 2007. In this instance, the judge might grant you a closed period of disability, that is he may find that your disability period began in December 2003 but you were no longer disabled as of June 2007.
Social Security disagrees with the beginning and/or ending dates of your disability.
This is the surf and turf combo of the prior two examples. The Judge may disagree with either the date your disability began or may disagree with the ending date (if you were requesting a closed period of disability).
In any of these cases, the judge will issue a partly favorable decision.
A partly favorable decision is still a win!
But, you need to review the decision to see where the judge disagreed with you about your disability. Is the judge choosing a later disability onset date? Is the judge disagreeing that your disability continues and choosing an ending date for your disability? Or is there some combination of those options occurring.
Photo by Krista Baltroka