When you’re pursuing a Social Security Disability claim, your hearing is one of the most important aspects of the entire process. We understand that a lot of our clients prefer to attend a hearing in person. There’s a certain level of comfort that comes with attending a hearing in person. However, there’s not always an Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) close by. When an OHO location isn’t close, a video hearing makes a lot of sense. Here are 5 reasons why you should embrace your video hearing.
If you live in a large metropolitan area, there’s a good chance you live near an OHO office. However, we’re based in West Virginia. A lot of our clients live in rural areas, and they often have to travel long distances in order to attend hearings in person. For instance, many of our clients near our Beckley, WV office were forced to travel over two hours in order to attend an in-person hearing at the Roanoke, VA OHO. Now that we’re able to complete video hearings at our Beckley office, what was once a four-hour round trip can be done by driving a few minutes to our office.
We understand that most of our clients haven’t hired an attorney before and they haven’t been in court. Though an ALJ hearing isn’t like something you’d see on an episode of Law and Order, it can still be intimidating. When you attend a hearing via video conference, your anxiety may be reduced because you’re not in the same room as the ALJ. Plus, if you’re attending a video hearing at a local SSA office, or at a location like our Beckley, WV office, you won’t have to search for a parking place and walk a considerable distance in order to arrive at the OHO. That’s not usually an issue when you have a video hearing.
One of the biggest benefits of a video hearing is scheduling. The SSA can often schedule a hearing for a video conference much quicker than they can for an in-person hearing. This is a big benefit considering the backlog the SSA is currently facing. The quicker you can attend a hearing, the quicker you can get a decision.
Better for individuals with limited mobility.
Individuals with severe disabilities or those who have mobility concerns may have issues when traveling long distances for an in-person hearing. The video hearing offers an alternative for applicants who can’t travel far because of their disabilities.
It’s not much different.
It may seem like a video hearing is a big change from a traditional in-person hearing, but in all actuality, it’s not that different. Other than looking at a camera and a video monitor, the procedure is the same. Your attorney won’t prepare you much differently than if you were attending the hearing in person. The judge will act the same as he or she would if you were attending the hearing in person. The questions and overall procedure don’t differ either.
Overall, the video hearing is a good alternative to an in-person hearing. They’re quicker, easier to get to, and great for individuals with limited mobility. However, if you would rather attend a hearing in person, we understand. We present our clients with both options, and we let the client make the decision.
If you’d like to know more about the services we offer, or if you’d like a free consultation, call us today. Our number is 1-877-526-3457. If you’d rather be called at a later time, fill out this form so our Intake team can call you at a later time.