One of the principles of the federal quality review is that federal quality reviewers
and regional office medical and/or psychological contractors must not substitute their
judgment for that of the adjudicating component’s medical and/or psychological consultants
and adjudicators. Regional office medical and psychological contractors must be aware
of SOJ as a review principle, to ensure they do not perform a "de novo" case review.
(See subsection D for a definition of "de novo" review.)
For a description of the regional office medical and psychological contractor's review
process, see GN 04440.130B.
Federal quality reviewers must be aware of SOJ as a review principle in decisional
If an adjudicating component documents and assesses a claim in accordance with SSA's
disability policy and the preponderance of the evidence in file supports the determination,
the federal quality reviewer must not cite a deficiency, even if the federal quality reviewer arrived at a different, but
equally supportable, conclusion.
For a complete explanation of SOJ, see GN 04440.118.