According to the Houston Chronicle, Social Security disability video hearings are becoming more common with each passing year – and should continue to become more common next year as the Social Security Administration (SSA) aims to cut costs and reduce disability claim processing times. In the last year alone, there were 9,000 more video hearings across the country than the year before, and the SSA predicts that 140,000 SSDI video hearings will take place in 2012.
How should you prepare for a Social Security video hearing?
An SSDI video hearing is simply a meeting with an administrative law judge who wishes to understand the nature of your disability and how it may prevent you from continuing to work. For the meeting, you will travel to a hearing room where you will use video technology to communicate with the judge, who will be remotely located. Other participants may include your legal representation, a loved one who may testify, a medical expert, a vocational expert, and someone to record the meeting.
The judge will then review your medical records, ask questions, and eventually make a decision regarding your disability benefits (either at the hearing or in writing following the hearing).
How is a SSDI video hearing different from an in-person hearing?
The SSA is determined to make the video Social Security hearings as similar as possible to the face-to-face meetings while still saving time and money for all involved. While some are concerned that the video hearings are less personal, others hold that the video conferencing technology still allows the claimant and judge to talk, see each other, and connect on the same level as at a meeting when everyone is physically present. Everything else about the meeting, from its length to its structure, is identical to the in-person meeting.
Texas Social Security benefits lawyer
If you are requesting a hearing with an administrative law judge following a Social Security disability benefits denial, you may wish to seek the help of a knowledgeable, experienced Houston disability attorney. At Morgan & Weisbrod, we assist our clients throughout the disability benefits appeal process, whether your hearing is in person or on video. Call us today to schedule a private, no-obligation consultation.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.