Throughout the last two years the Social Security Administration has had to make major shifts in the way hearings are run in order to keep serving the public. First all hearings were cancelled, however they quickly shifted to telephone hearings. A short while later, the Social Security Administration began offering the option to have a videoconference hearing utilizing the Microsoft Teams platform, which has been great for those claimants who had access to a laptop or smart phone from which to have their hearing. However, not everyone knew how to use it and many individuals continued to choose the telephone hearing option. It is important to note, throughout the two plus years you had, and continue to have, the right to an in person hearing. It would have meant quite a wait if you opted for it in March 2020, but that has always been your right if you chose.
Well, now the Offices of Hearings Operations are slowly re-opening to in person hearing, you may be wondering if you should opt for an in person hearing now. The answer is, it really depends on you! While in person hearings are beginning to be scheduled for late summer, there is a long backlog of individuals who have been waiting for one, potentially waiting since March 2020, so the wait to be scheduled could be quite long. Telephone hearings work in the same way as in person hearings, just without being able to see one another. We can always request the video option if you wish to see us all on your phone, tablet, or computer.
If it is important to you that you see the Judge and the Judge can see you in person, I urge you to contact us directly and ask to speak to one of our Attorney’s who can help decide what would be best in your situation, whether that be waiting for an in person hearing, utilizing the videoconference software, or even the phone.
The Judge wants to amend my onset date, what does it mean and should I do it?
In many cases an Administrative Law Judge will ask us to amend your onset date, but what does this mean? When you filed for disability, you told the Social Security Administration when you became disabled. This date is your alleged onset date.
Sometimes that date is when you stopped working, sometimes it is when you were diagnosed with an impairment, sometimes it is when you had a surgery or an injury. However, in all cases, we can change it if needed.
The most common reasons for amending an onset date are a change in age category, or a lack of supportive medical evidence.
Sometimes there just is not enough medical evidence to support you became disabled on a certain date, this could be because there just aren’t medical records going back that far, or because imaging or other testing was done later.