Monday, March 17, 2014

What to Expect in a Video Social Security Disability Hearing

If your SSDI or SSI hearing has been scheduled, it is possible that your case will be one of those in which Social Security conducts the hearing via video.  You might be wondering what such hearings are like and how best to prepare for it.  Here are some tips, as well as some important information on what to expect from your video hearing.

The best way to be mentally prepared for this type of hearing, is to understand that the technology used in these types of proceedings is very similar to the technology used when conducting conversations via skype.  Therefore, you should think of your video hearing as if it were a skype interview conducted by the judge.

In a video hearing you will be able to see all the participants in a really large T.V. screen. The administrative judge stays in his or her office, while you sit in a room that is close to your residence.  A technician hired by the Social Security Administration is present at all video hearing to assure that the equipment works properly.  Except for the equipment, a video hearing is no different than a hearing at which you appear in person.  Video hearings are very common in remote areas of the country where it is difficult for Social Security claimants and their lawyers to be present directly in front of the judge. 

The number of video hearings is currently on the raise.  It is estimated that in fiscal year 2013 the SSA conducted 179,308 video hearings.  This is more than twice the number of video hearings conducted in 2009.  Often an appearance by video hearing can be scheduled faster than an in-person appearance.  For this reason, it is estimated that the use of video technology has helped considerably in decreasing the backlog of pending claims.