COVID and Social Security Disability Hearings: What Should I Expect In a Phone Hearing?

Application form for Social Security disability benefitsDue to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Social Security’s hearing offices are currently closed to the public and all hearings are being conducted by telephone. Social Security will call you at the scheduled hearing time. The hearing office will call you at the phone number they have on file, so you need to keep your phone number updated. Your Social Security disability attorney from Keller & Keller attorney will also participate by telephone.

Recording Private SSDI Hearings is Not Allowed

These phone hearings are closed to the public, so the Judge will want to confirm that you are alone and in a private location. Also, Social Security will make an official recording of the hearing and no other recordings are allowed. Typically, the Judge will have some questions for your attorney. These questions are usually about the evidence in your file.

After these matters are addressed, the Judge will ask you to swear or affirm that you will tell the truth, under penalty of perjury. Most people say “yes, Judge,” or “I do,” but any statement that tells the Judge that you will tell the truth is fine.

Make Sure You're Prepared to Testify at Your Social Security Hearing

Typically, you will testify first. The Judge and your attorney will ask you questions about yourself, your education and work history, and your impairments. Make sure you're prepared to give your testimonry; read this article for more information about issues that are covered at every Social Security Disability hearing.

After you have completed your testimony, the Judge will take testimony from a vocational expert. The vocational expert has two purposes: first, to describe your past work in codes used by Social Security and second, to answer hypothetical questions about how limitations might impact an individual’s ability to work. The hypothetical questions may include some or all of your limitations. The questions may include your limitations to a lesser degree than you experience. The purpose of these questions is to help the Judge understand the impact of your limitations on your ability to work. Once the Judge has concluded her questioning of the vocational expert, your attorney will have a chance to question the vocational expert.

After the vocational expert testifies, the hearing will be concluded. The Judge will prepare a written decision and mail a copy to you and a copy to Keller & Keller. When we get our copy, we typically take a bit of time to review it before getting in contact with you. However, you are always welcome to call with any questions or concerns.

Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Are Here to Help

Keller & Keller is a full-service Social Security Disability law firm. If you are worried about your hearing, you don’t need to be. We will be with you every step of the way. We offer free consultations and case evaluations. Contact us today for a Free Social Security Disability Evaluation.

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