Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Should I go to a Social Security Disability Video Hearing?

I've never cared for the idea of social security disability hearings done by video. If you're not familiar with the concept, it simply means what the phrase implies. You and your disability attorney or non-attorney claimant's representative are in one location and the administrative law judge, the individual who evaluates your claim at the hearing level and makes the decision as to whether or not you will be awarded disability, is at another location. Your means of communicating is via video conferencing.

Why do I dislike even the idea of a hearing conducted in this fashion? Well, you give up a psychological advantage that is embedded in the nature of hearings. The hearing is, of course, the only appeal level at which you, the applicant for disability benefits, can actually meet the decision-maker.

A posting by a disability attorney in Pennsylvania, seems to hold similar sentiments about video disability hearings. Insler points out his belief that it is easier for a judge to deny the case of a claimant he or she never met. And from my perspective, this is why, to some extent, it is easier for disability examiners to routinely deny cases, even routinely deny strong cases, without batting an eye. They never meet the claimants whose cases they decide the outcomes for. And, basically, claimants simply become files and processing statistics.

The same goes for DDS (disability determination services, the state-level agency that handles disability determinations for social security disability and SSI disability claims) medical consultants. These physicians, who work in conjunction with disability examiners to decide cases, never meet claimants; yet, they provide opinions that direct how claims are decided.

I think, this "distanced" aspect" plays a part in how easy it is for DDS unit medical consultants (aka social security doctors) to routinely assign medium residual functional capacity ratings to so many individuals (the way I see it, most of these doctors barely have a clue as to what fifty pounds feels like--a medium rating involves the ability to lift 50 lbs occasionally).

The nice thing about video hearings, of course, is that you don't have to take one. You have the right to decline a video hearing and the right to be physically present at the social security disability hearing that, perhaps, has taken you two years or longer to get to.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

If your disability claim is approved or denied
Social Security Award letter for SSD, SSI
When to apply for SSI
Should I get a lawyer after being denied at a hearing?
Proving you are disabled for Social Security Disability SSI
How to file for disability in Mississippi
Filing for disability with TBI, traumatic brain injury
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?
Filing a new disability application with Social Security
Social Security Disability or SSI and garnishment
Applications for disability can be difficult
If I get disability will my children receive benefits?
Endometriosis and Filing for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI - Retroactive Benefits Vs Back Pay Benefits

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to check the status of my Social Security disability claim
To qualify for disability, what to prove
Preparation to win a disability hearing
Social Security Disability lawyers FAQ
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?
What does Social Security Disability SSI pay, how much?
Social Security Disability Maximum back pay
Social Security Disability Claims and Medical Exams
What is qualifying for disability benefits based on?
Partial Social Security Disability SSI benefits
Filing for disability and financial help
Getting approved after a Social Security Disability Psychological exam
How long does it take to receive disability benefits after you are approved?
Does Social Security Disability Come With Medicaid Benefits?
Applying for Disability or SSI - How long does it take
Can you work if you get Social Security Disability?
Am I eligible to receive disability benefits?
What medical disabilities, conditions qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to get disability for degenerative disc disease
What mental problems qualify for disability?
Conditions that get approved for disability