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Online Social Security Hearings: What You Need to Know

In the event of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the Social Security hearing offices were closed to the public. Benefit applicants could not opt for in-person services because of the catastrophic impact of the pandemic. 

Ever since, the Social Security Administration has offered telephone and online video hearings. These solutions have continued to offer secure, safe, and flexible hearing options during a crucial time. If you want to learn about online Social Security hearings, the following is a brief discussion. 

An Introduction To Online Video Hearings

An online video hearing happens to be a safe and secure hearing conducted over the Internet by video. Applicants may join the online social security hearings anywhere at the online video hearing. Participants can use a tablet, smartphone, or other camera-enabled device to connect to the video conference over the Internet.

Participating in the online legal video hearing requires understanding specific parameters:

  • You need to have access to an email address to use for an ID.
  • You can use any device that gives a strong internet connection.
  • Your device must have a camera, speakers, and a microphone.
  • Before the professional finalizes the date of the online video hearing, you will receive an email.
  • You will receive a link to the user guide that elucidates the steps to access and use the same on your device.

Notifying SSA about Appearing at The Online Video Hearing

Social Security Disability Hearing You can write to the local social security hearing office or call social security hearing office phone numbers to notify their offices about your decision to utilize the online hearing format. 

By phone, just call the local hearing office and let them know that you want to appear at the hearing using online video hearing. The local representative will ask you to provide your email address, name, and phone number.

To notify the SSA office via writing, you need to complete and return the  Emergency Hearing Agreement Form at the Social Security Administration. This will let the SSA know that you agree to appear at the video hearing. 

Any appointed representative should also appear when the applicant agrees to appear at the SSDI hearing

What To Expect In The Online Video Hearing?

After notifying the SSA, you get an email from the SSA office, confirming that you are participating in the online video hearing. This will also provide information about computer and internet requirements. On the day of the hearing, you need to click on the link 15 minutes before the hearing begins.

The ALJ or Administrative Law Judge will conduct the hearing similar to an offline hearing. The ALJ will ask you and any witness to take an oath to affirm that the testimony you are providing is true. During the hearing, the ALJ will provide you and your opportunity to tell your story and ask any questions you have of witnesses such as medical experts. 

The ALJ may also ask you and the other witnesses questions. All of the parties, witnesses, interpreters, and vocational experts can join the online video conference. The social security administration office of hearings and appeals will operate the video conferencing software. 

Preparing For The Online Video Hearing Session: What To Consider?

Before you join the hearing, it is imperative to be as prepared as possible, and not to forget the small details. Failing to pay attention before a hearing can leave you facing a denial. If you don’t want to deal with an appeal after an SSDI Denial, follow these tips:

  1. Ensure that your mobile or personal device stays connected to a solid wired or wireless internet connection, regardless of whether it’s from an office or home.
  2. Plug in and stay connected to a nearby power source and charge your device or computer so that it does not switch off in the middle of the hearing.
  3. Notify the ALJ if the microphone, speakers, or camera stop working correctly. If it does not function correctly and you don’t inform the ALJ, it might create confusion. Moreover, if the device gets disconnected during the online video hearing, try to reconnect as fast as possible. If the ALJ cannot continue the hearing, they might reschedule your hearing or postpone it.

Privacy is a significant concern for everyone involved in an online hearing. SSA uses a secure agency to protect your privacy. When connecting to the internet on your end, it’s better to avoid connecting from a public location to keep your case private. 

Book a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney. You can get the case evaluated to know the best steps and seek disability benefits.


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