For almost two years now, the Social Security Administration has conducted disability hearings almost exclusively by phone (with video hearings also available on request).
This has worked surprisingly well, especially since SSA converted to a centralized phone system. But still, technology is never without its hiccups.
Due to poor reception, uncharged cell phones, calendaring issues, or a host of other factors, sometimes claimants still miss these hearings.
The good news is that rescheduling a missed hearing usually isn’t a big deal, but it can still take time.
Depending on the issue and the judge’s schedule, sometimes hearings can be rescheduled later that day or within a week or two.
That is uncommon, however. Because of the schedules of the judges, attorneys, and vocational experts, rescheduling a disability hearing usually takes three or four months.
In part, this is because Social Security regulations require that all claimants receive a 75 day notice of their hearing date. You can waive this notice requirement to obtain a new hearing date more quickly, but even in that scenario, it can still take one to two months to get a new hearing.
Of course, the best way to avoid postponing a hearing is to try to avoid technical issues to begin with, so it’s important to keep your attorney informed of the best phone number to reach you at, find an area that has good reception, and try to keep that phone charged ahead of your hearing time. Your attorney should also be happy to do a test call with you to make sure everything is working properly.