Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta via Video Conference
In this article, a Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta discusses the unique issues present in attending a Social Security disability hearing via video conference as opposed to in person.
According to the Social Security Administration, the video hearing has the advantage of efficiency and speed in that video hearings can usually be scheduled sooner. Further, SSA maintains that meeting with the ALJ in person and meeting via video are almost perfectly alike with the exception of the presence of the technology. However, your Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta is unlikely to agree that these “advantages” are sufficient to overcome the shortcomings inherent in the system.
Everyone Else’s Viewpoint
The simple fact is that the only people who genuinely favor the prospect of a video hearing are the SSA officials. The administrative law judges don’t nor do the claimants, the expert witnesses or your Social Security disability atorney in Augusta.
In order to reassure you and your Social Security disability atorney in Augusta and promote this means of conducting the hearing, the Social Security Administration provides a brochure that attempts to highlight the advantages. The brochure reinforces the idea that the technology is the only significant difference between a video and personal hearing and points out the supposed saving in time and expense due to the lack of a need to travel.
The consensus of most of the principals involved is that by conducting the hearing through video technology, the experience of speaking directly with the ALJ face-to-face is diminished if not lost completely. You and your Social Security disability atorney in Augusta become flat images on a screen instead of living human beings sitting at a conference table. Any convenience associated with a shorter wait time is negated by the impersonal atmosphere imposed by the technology.
What You Can Do
Your Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta can assure you that if you want to decline a video-conference hearing, you are within your rights to do so. If you express your unwillingness to appear in this manner, the ALJ will consider that sufficient grounds to alter the scheduling in such a way as to permit a face-to-face hearing. Under Social Security regulations, which your Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta can confirm, you cannot be forced to attend via video if it is against your wishes.
The Expert’s Issue
Your Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta may remind you that those same regulations do not extend to the experts. In other words, while you can insist that you attend your meeting in person, you cannot insist that expert witnesses do so. Normally, if such a request is made of an ALJ, it is far more likely to be refused than granted.
Know Your Options
If you are facing a video hearing, be sure that you have the assistance of an experienced Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta to guide you. Call Wilkinson & Magruder, LLP at 706-737-0771 for help and additional information.