Social Security Disability: Your Right to an In-Person Hearing

By Douglas I. Friedman of Friedman Law Firm, P.C.

In September of 2014, Social Security changed the process for you to object to having your hearing by Video Teleconferencing. In a VTC hearing, you and the Administrative Law Judge are in different locations. You see and hear each other through large video monitors. You have the right to object to a VTC hearing and have your hearing in-person in front of an ALJ.

Under the old rule a claimant could object to a VTC hearing at any time up until the hearing. Hearing time slots were being lost when claimants made VTC objections on short notice. There wasn’t enough time to schedule someone else in that time slot. The new rule requires a claimant to object to a VTC hearing within thirty days of receiving notice that their hearing has been scheduled. The goal is for Social Security to be able to have fewer hearings canceled on short notice to ease the backlog at many hearing offices.

There are pros and cons to the VTC hearing. It’s important that you talk to your attorney to determine if a VTC hearing is right for your claim.