In my last post, I argued that people should not read a decision fully in their favor. But what about a partially favorable decision? Here the answer is different. This time, you do want to read your decision.
Why the difference?
Why The Partially Favorable? You Need To Know
As I explained in an earlier blog post, a judge can find only partially in your favor. The most likely reason is that the judge thinks a different start date for your disability is appropriate. Regardless of the reason why the judge chose a different starting date, you need to know about it. One significant issue could be the judge choosing an onset date that is after your date last insured (DLI). If this were to happen, it might severely reduce or eliminate benefits you might have gotten.
It Could Be A Simple Factual Error
It is always possible, too, that the judge simply misread the evidence. He might have gotten the date of critical medical procedure wrong. Or, he might have the wrong birthdate for you. More
generally, the judge's assessment of the evidence could simply be faulty.
Whatever the reason, you need to know why the judge changed the beginning date of your disability. It could turn out to be for a defensible reason. The difference might also be so small as to not make any practical difference for the benefits you collect.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss This Time
As I wrote earlier, you need to think very carefully about appealing a partially favorable decision. But, you cannot make a decision about appealing without knowing the facts. In this case, ignorance is not bliss.
Read The Decision And Then Call
If your decision is partially favorable, read it carefully and then contact your lawyer to see what he or she recommends.