A request for reconsideration as it relates to SSD is the first level of appeal. If a person’s application is initially denied, then their next step would be to file a request for reconsideration, which is a way of requesting that the administration consider new medical evidence that may be available and reconsider their initial decision.

Are All Hearings Held In Person Or By Video?

Hearings may be held in person or by video. If an attorney is involved in a case, then the hearing will almost always be held in person. Most attorneys object to video hearings because they believe that the opportunity to appear in person before the judge and everyone else who is involved in the case is an important one, as well as a more effective way of stating one’s case. In addition, there are nuances that the judge may notice during an in-person hearing that they might miss on video. For example, a judge would be able to see how an individual carries themselves and enters the courtroom, and would be more likely to notice certain details, such as a claimant who has difficulty walking or who is sweating profusely.

There is no other court system in the country that requires anyone to do anything by video. A video hearing is more likely to occur when an individual is not represented by an attorney or when there is otherwise no objection to a video hearing. It is surprising that in-person hearings are not standard protocol. Experienced attorneys who understand the system will almost always object to video hearings.

How Does An In-Person SSD Hearing Work In Texas?

In Texas, an in-person SSD hearing will be held at one of the numerous hearing offices hearing office in located throughout the state, including in Dallas and in Fort Worth. If a person lives within 75 miles of either office, then that will be the location of the in-person hearing. If a person lives more than 75 miles away from a main hearing office, then a judge will travel to one of several satellite offices (which are often located in smaller and more rural areas).

A satellite office is more like a conference room with a large table than a courtroom, but the judge will still have a bench that is raised slightly above the table. The claimant, attorney, vocational or medical experts, and a hearing officer acting as a court reporter will be present. Since medical and vocational experts are often unable to attend hearings, it is not uncommon for them to appear by telephone. Many people expect to see a courtroom like they would on the television show Law & Order, but they won’t; it’s highly confidential, there’s no gallery, no jury box, and no witness stand. There’s even a locked door that requires a security code so that no one can enter the room unless they’ve been given permission.

Is A Decision Made At An In-Person SSD Hearing?

Whether or not a decision will be made at an in-person SSD hearing will depend on the judge; some judges will simply grant the claimant’s disability, while others will go through the entire hearing process. Experienced attorneys are more likely to be familiar with the way that different judges operate, and therefore may have a good idea of how a hearing will play out. However, many judges won’t show their hands and even the attorneys will have no idea how a hearing will play out.

For more information on Request For Reconsideration In SSD, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (214) 373-3761 today.

by Carl M. Weisbrod
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law

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