Comparing Video Hearings with In-Person Hearings

The internet, video chatting, and cell phones have changed the way that the Social Security Administration operates. One of the recent changes is the opportunity for individuals to attend their Social Security disability hearing via video instead of in-person. What are a few of the benefits of a disability hearing video instead of having to travel to the administration in person? There are several important points that everyone needs to keep in mind.

Why Does the Social Security Administration Offer Video Hearings?

The Social Security Administration is often backlogged with applications for first-time benefits and for changes in someone’s benefits. This often results in long wait times as disability judges wade through the deluge of applications. You might get frustrated with the long wait times and the Social Security Administration has heard the concerns. Therefore, they have implemented the SSA video conferencing option in an effort to speed up the process and reduce wait times. In some cases, this actually happens. In other cases, the wait for SSA video hearings might be just as long as for an in-person hearing.

Why Would Anyone Want a Social Security Hearing Via Video?

The goal behind offering video hearings was to shorten wait times. While this may be possible in some situations, video hearings also have long waits. In many situations, video hearings might even have longer wait times. Therefore, for many people such as yourself, there might not be any added benefits to attending a video hearing.
In reality, the only situation where you should consider a video SSA hearing is in cases of significant hardship. For example, the most common reason why a hearing would create significant hardship for an individual is a long distance to travel. If you live in a particularly remote location, you might benefit from not having to travel to the hearing in person. Furthermore, if you have chronic medical conditions that require complicated transportation you might also consider a video hearing. On the other hand, please remember that if you live in a remote location, you might have a spotty internet connection that could make it difficult to complete the hearing. Furthermore, if you do not show up for the hearing in person, it is difficult for the judge to assess that your body language and credibility. Therefore, while this is a suitable alternative in very specific situations, it is typically better to attend the SSA hearing in person. What are a few of the benefits of this traditional method that everyone should remember?

In-Person Hearings Have Their Benefits

There are several benefits of being able to attend an SSA disability hearing in-person instead of conferencing in via video that you should remember. Some of the important factors that you need to weigh include:
Technology: While technology has come a long way, there might still be issues. The cameras and the audio equipment might be poor and it could make it hard for the parties to hear each other. This could frustrate everyone, including the judge. Therefore, it is typically better for you to attend the hearing in-person to make these technology issues a moot point.
Body Language: The disability judge is going to take everything into account including your appearance, demeanor, body language, pained appearance, and overall credibility. These could be difficult to assess via video. If you show up for the hearing in-person, it is easier for the judge to assess your appearance and the credibility of your case.
Local Issues: When you travel to the closest hearing location, you are likely to be heard by a judge who is familiar with the local area. This includes familiarity with the economy, treatment options, and geography. All of these matter in the final decision of your SSA hearing.
Commitment: If you are willing to travel to your hearing, you demonstrate that this is an important issue for you and the judge. Your willingness to travel means that your issues are severe which will be noticed by the judge.

Contact an Experienced SSA Attorney

Navigating a Social Security disability application is a challenging process and the decision to attend a hearing via video should not be taken lightly. There are many factors that should be carefully weighed. For those who would like more information on how to win a Social Security disability hearing, call today for a free consultation. We are here to help you.

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