On June 25, 2014, we published final rules explaining how a claimant may object to appearing at a hearing via video teleconferencing, or to the time and place of a hearing. Specifically, these rules provide that prior to scheduling a hearing, we will notify the claimant that we may schedule the appearance by video teleconferencing. If the claimant objects to appearing by video teleconferencing, the claimant or representative must notify us in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice.
Major business process changes:
- Before we schedule a hearing, we will notify the claimant that we may schedule him or her to appear by video teleconferencing.
- You (on behalf of the claimant) only need to respond to this notice if you object to appearing by video teleconferencing.
- If you (on behalf of the claimant) are going to decline appearing by video teleconferencing, you must do so in writing within 30 days after receiving the notice, unless you can show good cause for missing the deadline. If you notify us within that time period and the claimant’s residence does not change while the request for hearing is pending, we will set the hearing for a time and place for the claimant to make an appearance before the administrative law judge in person.
- If you (on behalf of the claimant) object within the 30-day timeframe but while the request for hearing is pending and the claimant changes residences and provides evidence verifying the new residence, we will decide how the claimant will appear, including by video teleconferencing.
- For any hearings requests received after September 6, 2014, when we acknowledge the request for hearing, we will include notice that we may schedule the hearing appearance by video teleconferencing and provide a form for response.
- For pending claims awaiting a scheduled hearing as of September 6, 2014, we will send a notice providing an opportunity to object to appearing at the hearing by video teleconferencing. We will mail out these notices on a staggered basis over a 6 week period beginning September 19, 2014.
- Please send responses (on behalf of the claimant) in the business reply envelope that we provide or to our special fax number (included in the document entitled “Electronic Disability Claims Processing”) rather than bringing the response to our offices. Please do not upload these responses to the Appointed Representative Services site, which might delay processing.
Why you should have your hearing by video?
With video hearings, we can make appearing at a hearing more convenient for you. Often an appearance by video teleconferencing can be scheduled faster than an in-person appearance. We are upgrading our video equipment, lighting, and facilities to improve video hearings.