The Social Security hearing is one of the most critical stages in the processing of a claim for beneifts. In many cases, the disability hearing is conducted in person. In some cases however, individuals may choose a video hearing.
A video disability hearing differs from an in-person one in that these hearings are conducted via video conference. That means that you will not be in the same room with the Administrative Law Judge who has been assigned to your case.
That doesn’t, however, mean that you can take a video disability hearing lightly. Just because you are not present in the same room as the judge does not mean that the judge will not have access to the evidence that you present, and your audio or visual testimony. The videoconferencing technology is designed to allow the ALJ to evaluate you during the hearing, including your behavior, your physical mannerisms, and other aspects that he or she may deem important to your case. It’s important to have your attorney present with you, regardless of whether you are attending an in-person hearing, or a video hearing.
A video disability hearing has some advantages. For instance, you might find it easier to get a date for a video hearing, compared to an in-person hearing. Also, persons who struggle with mobility issues may find it much easier to travel just a short distance to a videoconferencing hearing, than travel further distances to an in-person hearing. Some applicants also are more comfortable interacting with the judge using video technology, and might feel intimidated by the thought of being face-to-face with the judge. On the other hand, however, some persons may be uncomfortable with video technology, and may find it difficult to truly express themselves, or provide evidence that best represents their case, via technology.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to applying for disability benefits is that a skilled attorney can make an incredible difference at all phases of the process. That means everything from completing the application, securing medical records, preparing you for the hearing, and effectively giving you the best chance of success.