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The Return of In Person Hearings

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    The Return of In Person Hearings

    The Social Security Administration has announced that they will resume in person hearings on a limited basis in January 2022. In person hearings have not occurred for Social Security Disability claims since March 2020, and all hearings since that time have occurred either via telephone or via video call. Although these virtual methods work well for some claimants (and others have been happy to avoid the travel required for an in person hearing), there are many who value being able to meet their judge in person. In my opinion, there is also a benefit for the judge being able to see the claimant, both to humanize the claimant and to see their limitations in person (issues walking into the hearing room, issues getting up, etc.).

    Since the pandemic began, the SSA has allowed individuals who demand an in person hearing to delay their hearings until in person hearings are offered. As such, there is a significant backlog of such matters. Furthermore, the in person hearings are being held on a very limited basis initially, with those who have been awaiting a hearing the longest and/or those who have dire needs being given the first slots for these events.

    These in person hearings will have significant health and safety protocols, including barriers and air purifiers to limit cross-exposure and protect all participants.

    At present, there is no word on when local Social Security offices will open for in person appointments. This has also been a large issue, especially for lower income individuals who have typically relied upon in person meetings with the SSA offices.

    Regardless, this is a good first step toward reestablishing a more normal level of service by the SSA!
    Attorney Jamie R. Hall's practice is focused on assisting individuals with claims and appeals for Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability benefits. He has assisted claimants nationwide, approximately half of whom are MS patients, from his Pennsylvania and Ohio locations. **No attorney/client relationship is created by this communication, and information provided herein is not a substitute for formal advisement.**

    #2
    Thanks for letting us know. A plus for many!
    1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
    Administrator Message Boards/Moderator

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