Video Hearings at Social Security Increase Efficiency

A smiling judge looks at you.If you received a denial on your application for Social Security benefits, and appealed to an administrative law judge, you may consider conducting your hearing through our remote video service delivery (VSD). VSD allows judges to hear cases from applicants in any geographic area using video and sound equipment.  Although similar to Skype, our state-of-the-art technology produces a much higher quality video experience. The video hearing process is convenient, significantly reduces the government’s cost over traditional hearings, and could result in a quicker decision on your appeal.

Video hearings offer the same secure and confidential process that hearings conducted in-person provide. The judge has the same access to the applicant’s full Social Security file, including medical and educational records, as judges in the local office would. The procedure and development of the case is equal to in-person hearings, and the judge hears and considers the same testimony.

If you have a hearing pending with Social Security, you’ll receive a notice to schedule your case with a hearing office. You’ll have the choice of conducting your hearing through VSD, which may allow your hearing to occur sooner.

For more information on what you need to know about the Social Security hearing process, visit our website or call 1-800-772-1213.

 

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37 thoughts on “Video Hearings at Social Security Increase Efficiency

  1. I’ve been waiting for over a year for my hearing and I’m wondering since the SOAR program can complete a case in 60 days, if I should just reapply since this video hearing process just seems too slow and my need is critical.

    • Hi Virginia! If you are referring to “re-applying” for disability benefits, we cannot accept a new disability application while you have another claim pending at the hearing level. We understand your frustration, and although we attempt to resolve all claims promptly, there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals. At this time, waiting for a hearing is probably to your advantage.
      Please continue to work with your local hearing office on specific questions about your case. Visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information. We do not have any jurisdiction over the SOAR program.

      • to: Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist,

        IOWA SSDI folks NEVER gave my lawyer a copy of my ALJ hearing tape to him to prepare his BRIEF to go to appeals council.

        after 4 yrs. into the 2nd ssdi claim, he QUIT me, but returned both of my claims to me.

        he sent a notice he was resigning from my case and would have NO claim on any money won, etc. to DES MOINES, KC HQ, VIRGINIA, & to head alj.

        i also requested a copy of my 1st hearing tape from des moines, iowa ssdi staff; NO ONE replied NOR sent me a copy so i could try to prepare my brief for AC in virginia.

        so my case sat in AC hq storage unit for 2.5 yrs. waiting my turn to be looked at “fully”.

        since my FORMER LAWYER did NOT submit his brief on my 1st case, appeals council did NOT have to review my 2″ medical file.

        ac just read of 1st alj’s DENIAL of my claim, and DENIED me too.

        so please explain MORE to all of us the specific procedure in obtaining a copy of ALJ HEARING TAPES to be used for being denied by alj to prepare for APPEALS COUNCIL decision.

        WHO needs to be contacted and the specific directions to do so.

        frankly, ssdi folks screwed me by NOT releasing my 1st video tape to former lawyer or ME who represented myself at my 2nd alj hearing.

        fyi, i WON my 2nd alj case !! but of course they didn’t go back to the 1st ssdi claim when i was DISABLED; so i lost 3 more years of wages for having paid in 31 years.

        fyi, i have 3 FULL drawers full of files for my 2 ssdi claims of a 4 drawer office file plus copies of ALL drs. appts. since filing my 1st claim.
        ***********************************

        RAY, also why doesn’t “LYME/TICK disease” have any comments on it in i believe 14.08? they show lyme disease, BUT nothing more.

        why can’t SS have detailed comments there like the rest of the approved list of impairments?

        i was bitten by a tick 46.5 yrs. ago; MISDIAGNOSED for 35 yrs. by 40-50 drs, unacceptable, which brought on many more illnesses/symptoms disabling me.

        thank you ray for answering me and other people’s replies promptly on this and other blogs sent out earlier by ss director.

        bettyg, iowa

        • ray,
          i’m still waiting an answer from you/another staff member on my above comments/questions.

          this is the 2nd different question i’ve asked on 2 recent blogs in 1 month; NEITHER time did any of SS staff reply.

          i see answers for majority of folks below me and on the other thread i was on.

          thank you ray 😉

          bettyg, iowa

          • Social security administration is trying to time you out. Your benefits are only there for a certain time period. They purposely take a long time in appeals then they’ll deny you and by the time you reapply (which is what they tell you to do) you’re not protected by your date of disability anymore. It’s a disgusting policy they’re accustomed to doing nationwide. Social security administration sub contracts with businesses to deny Americans their benefits on purpose.

  2. My parents raised my to believe the system would care for me if i worked hard and paid into it ,and i did .On my job 15 yrs and never miss a year since 1978 some times working 2 jobs . I have been denied twice with a lawyer cervical spine fusion13 screws and a plate cannot lift over 30 lbs. Thank GoD for my grown children where im stayin between them and meals. Know one will hire me and now my arms and hands are very weak and painful. I glad my parents are not here to see this. They would be shocked!

    • Hi Elmer. We replied to you a few days ago on a different comment, but just in case you missed it, here it is again: For the woman you mention who is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), getting married or even if living together but not legally married may affect her benefits. This is because the SSI benefit amount we pay is affected by her living arrangements. We also take into consideration a couple’s income, and resources for SSI benefits. Your Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits will not be affected, because those benefits are based on your work activity and earnings prior to becoming disabled, and are not subject to income and resource limits.

      • Did you ever think that while social security is counting resources that the people who are helping expect that social security will actually do their job?

  3. March 6, 2014 I was admitted to hospital for “Pneumonia” It was not cured with the usual treatments. My problem is I cough many times a day without warning. There is nothing that eases it. I have to wait it out each time. I have since had 5 CT scans and a Biopsy at Beaumont Royal Oak. They could not diagnosis this. U of M dx eosinophilic Pneumonia in Nov 2014. Nothing has cured the cough. Mayo Clinic has called it “Nonspecific interstitial Pneumonia-like changes with endogenous lipoid pneumonia, focal organizing pneumonia, and diffuse alveolar damage features.” (Again there is a complete pathology report from U of M and Mayo Clinic). SS Disability received my first application June 23, 2015. I was denied July 31, 2014. I was advised to get a laywer and did so in August 2014. They filed the appeal. (Bieske & Associates, Jennifer Alfonsi, Atorney at law; 1-800-331-3530). They have informed me that they have sent in any further needed information.. So now, August 31, 2015 I have suffered with this shortness of breath and coughing without any income for almost 18 months. I have been to many Dr.’s, taken many meds without relief, and had many procedures done. This is chronic. I see no end to it. I would love to have a hearing date so I can know I have not been forgotton. Thank You

    • Cynthia, we are sorry to hear of your medical problems. If you are referring to the length of time it takes to get a hearing, it varies. In most states, there are four levels in The Appeals Process, but the amount of time could vary from case to case. We must consider several factors when making a medical determination such as the nature of the disability, how quickly we obtain medical evidence from doctors or other medical sources, and if the claim is randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. We care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. While you are waiting for a hearing or a medical decision, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live.

      • I’m waiting on my disability as well. Denied 2x’s the lawyers I had were from premier disability. I reapplied again with now lawyer. I’m at the stage were they are reviewing my medical records. I have chronic fatigue, dry eyes, high cholesterol, high blood ,fibromyalgia l, and chronic pain, chronic depression. I was on suicide watch for long time. There is no cure for my Fibro. I take 7 meds in the morning n 7 at night. I can’t lift over my head or carry anything over 15 lbs.
        My hand write is crappy because of my hands shaking. I feel a few times so medicaid approved me for Advance Alert. I can get help instantly if they can’t reach my family. I also had a safety rail put in that give me something to hold to.
        Ms. Stevens

  4. My disability started after treatment for Parkinson’s. I had an adverse reaction to medication. I am not the same physically. Most importantly, my brain is now disorganized and have memory dysfunction. For legal reasons, I guess, doctor said I was hysterical because he had never heard of adverse reaction to Clonazepam. Neither they nor I knew benzodiazepines are contraindicated for PTSD survivors. I hope my new psychiatrist reads the letter and links I sent him. The SSA doctors must have graduated with a 2.0 grade average. The SSA neurologist said she is friends with neurologist and kept saying she wants to burn rapists. The other SSA doctor giving cognitive tests kept saying never mind you don’t have to finish that-very impatient. SSA is waiting for me to die.

  5. I am waiting for my hearing with the Judge. The letter said a video hearing is faster then a in person hearing, said it would probility take several months and right now it has been 6 months.How much longer do I have to wait?

    • Thanks for using our blog, Rebecca. While it is true that we are trying to conduct many of our hearings through video teleconferencing (VTC), the length of time it takes to get a hearing could vary from case to case. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. If your case is selected, we will notify you and ask you if we may schedule you to appear by VTC, and provide you the opportunity to object and instead allow you to appear in person. Please continue to work with your local hearing office on specific questions about your case. Visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information.

  6. I have been waiting for a hearing with a judge since March 2014. I live in san diego calif just had total knee replacememt on right knee and after healing will have the same done on the left. Then my back will be worked on. I am 58 and worked 43 years. How long does it take to see a judge.

    • Tim, the length of time it takes to get a hearing could vary from case to case. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. The good news is that we are trying to conduct many of our hearings through video teleconferencing (VTC) to speed up the process. Visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information, and continue working with your local hearing office on specific questions about your case. Thanks !

  7. RE: Health and Welfare. 9th Ed. Hospitals & Asylums. HA-26-7-15 244 pgs. http://www.title24uscode.org/haw.htm

    I got in so much trouble trying to free Kim Dotcom from Megavideo.com from a false arrest warrant ,that SSA now has to also free FEMA from the Ray Nagin inferiority complex that might cost the NSA cell phone slavery thing so dearly in another false confession to the work of the library computer virus Windows 8 deleted the restore points from. Was it really the cell phone bill that impoverished Ray Nagin to the point where he was imprisoned for no longer getting any business from his political popularity and maybe being a “bug”? Lawyers are so unprofessional. Petitioners denied disability,would benefit from social worker or non-social worker representatives. Videotaping claims is Astrue Esq.’s peculiar method of avoiding the morbid consequences of his lawyer ALJ plagiarism beneficiaries that is not due propaganda or prohibition. Reading and writing publicly on the Internet is the way to communicate with government agencies, however the unprofessional complicated confidentiality of the SSA petitioners, leaves us secretly hacked, mutilated and murdered in the SSA database, accessible only to 70,000 employees who make little indication of being able to read and write satisfactorily to economically ,morally and materially, benefit the author.

    Nonetheless, Section 84a, has been updated, right before SSA, to include FEMA disaster insurance (cloud seeding and hydrocarbon cooling pumps for hurricane prevention) to include the 1982 Law of the Sea in the Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992. Furthermore, this article recognizes the work of the public library in Section 111b

  8. I apply for last 11yrs they keep on denied me. I can’t sit or stand to long. They say I work. I try I don’t stay on job long. It’s because my disability. I don’t know what to do.

    • Funeka, Social Security has a very strict definition of disability. We pay benefits to individuals who have a medical condition that prevents them from working and is expected to last at least one year or result in death. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application. If you’re denied, you have the right to request an appeal, but you must request an appeal within 60 days from the date you receive your denial letter. In most states there are four levels in The Appeals Process. If your appeal was denied or you are past the 60-day point and you feel that you meet our definition of disability, you can apply again, and can do so online. You will still need to complete your Supplemental Security Information (SSI) application at your local office. Once you’ve completed the online disability application, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to have one of our representatives schedule an appointment for you with your local office to complete your SSI application.

        • I’m waiting on my disability as well. Denied 2x’s the lawyers I had were from premier disability. I reapplied again with now lawyer. I’m at the stage were they are reviewing my medical records. I have chronic fatigue, dry eyes, high cholesterol, high blood ,fibromyalgia l, and chronic pain, chronic depression. I was on suicide watch for long time. There is no cure for my Fibro. I take 7 meds in the morning n 7 at night. I can’t lift over my head or carry anything over 15 lbs.
          My hand write is crappy because of my hands shaking. I feel a few times so medicaid approved me for Advance Alert. I can get help instantly if they can’t reach my family. I also had a safety rail put in that give me something to hold to. There’s memory loss ,forgetfulness, n cofusion I also have spots on my brain n don’t know where they came. My morgage , 1300,00.
          Ms. Stevens

  9. I’m curious about the video hearings. I am waiting for my hearing date to be set-any day now. I have extreme anxiety and panic disorder and driving is impossible for me. The video option seems perfect for me, but my representative recommends against it. Are there any statistics re: approval/denial in comparison to appearance hearings? I’m all about efficiency, but it may be difficult for the judge to get a read on an applicant via video.

    • Hi Cyndi. Video hearings offer the same secure and confidential process that hearings conducted in-person provide. The judge has the same access to the applicant’s full Social Security file, including medical and educational records, as judges in the local office would. The procedure and development of the case is equal to in-person hearings, and the judge hears and considers the same testimony. Please go to our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information about hearings held through video teleconferencing (VTC).

  10. I filed for disability February 2013, I am diabetic 2, narcolepsy, neurothapy in my feet, ADHD, bipolar 2, had left knee replacement surgery in May and 51. I was divorced 2013 from a very verbally and mentally abusive man. I have no income because I can’t work. In May 2015 I received a letter saying they would be contacting my attorney for hearing date, I live in Madison County Ohio, as of today I still do not have a hearing date. I only get food stamps and staying at my moms temporarily. I need my disability to live. Please can someone help

    • Hi Alicia! We are sorry to hear of your medical situations, and we assure you that we are trying to resolve all claims promptly, but the length of time it takes to get a hearing could vary from case to case. This is because there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals.
      We are trying to speed up the process by conducting many of our hearings through video teleconferencing (VTC) to speed up the process. Visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information, and continue working with your attorney and the local hearing office on specific questions about your case. Thanks !

  11. I am looking for more disability benefits due to the condition in my right arm elbow pain and right leg it is difficult to mobilize myself to do the things I want to do travel leisure sports,etc.

    • Hi Thomas, thank you for using our online services. We regret to inform you that your disability payments cannot be increased if you have a new disability. Generally, your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit amount is based on your earnings prior to when you became disabled. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. If you have low income and limited resources, please contact us to check if you are eligible to receive SSI in addition to monthly Social Security benefits (SSDI). You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. You will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks!

  12. Thank YOU!!!I had my hearing on Nov. 9, 2010. You sulhod be the one receiving my attorney fees. I learned more from reading this page than I did from my attorney!! If she had told me 1/4 of what I read I might have known what to expect. Bless you and thank you for taking the time to help us by writing this article. I thought for sure I was going to be denied since it was taking almost 4 weeks to hear anything and now I feel a bit better.Have a Merry Christmas,Brenda

    • Thank you for participating and using our blog, we are glad you like it and appreciate your comments and feedback!

  13. i been waiting the out come of my hearing and i called they say they waiting for the judge to sign the paper what ever that means my hearing was in December and i have a lot of heath issues and i am trying to get windows pension

    • Hi Debra. The length of time it takes to receive an official notice with the decision from your hearing varies. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending claims in your area. Also, many claims are randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. We care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. For security reasons, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. In your situation, we encourage you to contact your local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak to one of our representatives. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

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