The Social Security Administration (SSA) frequently denies claims for disability benefits, forcing claimants who want to appeal theses denials to request disability hearings. Perhaps not surprisingly, the great number of denials has resulted in a great number of hearing requests, which in turn created a backlog of cases waiting for hearings. To speed up the process and reduce the backlog, the SSA implemented a video hearing process.

If you are appealing a denial of benefits, it is important for you to understand the difference between a video Social Security disability hearing and one that occurs in-person. The hearing is an extremely critical stage in the procedure for obtaining benefits, so you should be prepared to make the most of this opportunity and understand what happens at a Social Security disability hearing.

When Are Hearings Conducted by Video?

The SSA uses a process referred to as remote video service delivery, or VSD, to conduct hearings where the applicant seeking benefits is in one location and the judge is in another. Usually, the applicants participate from an SSA field office in their home state, while the judge may appear from any location equipped to conduct VSD hearings.

When cases have been transferred to the National Hearing Center due to regional backlogs or for other reasons, they are always heard by video teleconferencing. In other situations, the SSA may schedule a video hearing simply because the claimant is located far from a hearing office.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Video Conference Hearing

Most Social Security disability applicants in Alpharetta have the choice to schedule a hearing via video conference or an in-person hearing. When making this choice, it is wise to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with video vs in-person hearings.

Potential Benefits of a Video Hearing

Those who elect to conduct their hearing through video teleconferencing are likely to have their cases heard much more quickly than those who request an in-person hearing. In addition, it is often much more convenient for the claimant to bring witnesses and their legal representative to a location close to home instead of hearing office that may be hundreds of miles away.

Potential Drawbacks to a Video Hearing

Although many people are accustomed to watching others on a screen, some are not comfortable speaking on camera or appearing on video to others. As a result, a video conference hearing may create a sense of unease that can make it difficult to communicate properly.

It may also be more difficult for a judge to gain a genuine appreciation for an applicant’s disability when viewed on video. In addition, technical difficulties such as blurry video may also make it difficult to fully and fairly present a claim for disability.

Deciding between an Alpharetta Disability Video Hearing and an In-Person Hearing

Because there are potential advantages and disadvantages to a video hearing, it is wise to consider how these pros and cons apply to your particular situation before making the final decision on a video hearing vs in-person Alpharetta Social Security disability hearing. An attorney who is experienced assisting with disability hearings could help with this evaluation.

If you are seeking a disability hearing, you should be aware that you have the right to request an in-person hearing even if the SSA has already scheduled a video hearing through the National Hearing Center. In addition, you may seek reimbursement for travel expenses if it is necessary to travel more than 75 miles to attend a hearing. Call our firm for more insight on what happens at a Social Security disability hearing.

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