SSA allows for judges in other regions to handle claims and conduct hearings via video teleconference (VTC). The benefit of the VTC hearings are that the SSA can try to eliminate its backlog of claims. Thus, some claims may be scheduled for a hearing sooner than if the claimant states they want the in-person hearing. Also, a VTC hearing could save Claimants some travel time as their local office may be equipped to handle VTC hearings when they would otherwise have to travel to a regional hearing office for an in-person hearing. However, Claimants have the right to have an in-person hearing; they can’t be forced into having one. The benefits of having an in-person hearing are that they may allow the judge to better observe a claimant and their disabilities. In addition, in-person hearings are more personal. This personal contact could be the difference between approval and denial of benefits. Contact the Bainbridge Firm for assistance with your Social Security claim.
By Kara Dolan of The Bainbridge Firm, LLC posted in Social Security Benefits on Friday, November 7, 2014.