You finally get the good news in the mail. There, on paper and in black and white, is a decision in your favor. It says so right in the title: Notice of Decision -- Fully Favorable. So, should you sit down and carefully read over every word?
The answer is no.
Don't Let Jargon Confuse You
It may seem like odd advice to not read something that is not only good for you but is about you. So why not read the decision? I can think of a few reasons. First, the fully favorable decision, like any government document, is filled with jargon. If you don't know the code, you can easily misunderstand what the decision says. A common mistake is when people read about their date last insured and think this means that their benefits will end on that date. This is a perfectly logical reading of that information. But it is also wrong.
Ignorance Is Bliss
In addition, even in a decision fully in your favor, there may be parts you don't like. An ALJ may say you are disabled. But, that ALJ might first detour into commenting on your character, or how truthful you are, or if you have substance abuse problems. Ignorance is bliss, especially
when it comes to criticism that does not change the outcome. Even if the ALJ does not tackle any sensitive subjects, she still might make small errors of fact. For some people, these sorts of errors are stressful. Some clients want corrections, even though they have already won.
Read Two Words And Stop
When you get a decision in your favor, I suggest you read only two words of it. Best of all, they are right there on the first page: Fully --Favorable. Stop reading there, assured you have not missed
Did you read your favorable decision? Did it make you angry? Stress you out? Let me know.