Due to the backlog of cases in front of the Social Security Administration(SSA), in some geographic areas, the SSA has implemented a video-conference for the convenience of the parties and, in theory, this can be a good thing. However, while it may be more convenient to have a claimant’s hearing heard by video-conference, there are also concerns about the sterile environment of a video-conference wherein the Judge will not see the claimant in person to witness them first hand. There was a great article on examiner.com which gives good insight about the pros and cons of video-conferencing a SSD hearing. read article here: www.examiner.com/x-13746-Tampa-Social-Security-Disability-Examiner~y2009m7d3-Social-Security-HearingsAttending-inperson-or-by-video-conference
The article states, and I agree, there is something to be said about in-person hearings. If your condition has observable signs of disability, it may be advisable to attend a hearing. On video, the ALJ may be able to see you only after you are seated, so your visible limitations may not be observed.
If, like many people, the disability is not visually apparent, that won’t matter, and a well-developed medical record is the most important factor.
The credibility of testimony is also important. This is sometimes better gauged by the judge in person. Social Security disability attorneys or advocates in your area become familiar with the decision style of the judges in the hearing offices in their geographic region. It is important to seek quality representation at the hearing level. The advocate or attorney can share their experience on the demeanor and record of the judge to help determine which type of hearing is advisable. If you have been turned down for SSD benefits, please contact our law firm.