In recent years, the Social Security Administration has been using video technology in an effort to provide people with hearings to decide their disability claims in an efficient and timely manner. Many people live too far away from the actual Office of Adjudication and Review where the Administrative Law Judge who is hearing the case is located. Thus, Social Security provides satellite offices in rural areas with the technology to allow the hearing to take place by video teleconference.
However, in some circumstances, a live hearing may be more advantageous than a video hearing. For instance, a Claimant s condition may not translate well to video and would appear more profound in person. Fortunately, pursuant to a March 2011 decision by the Social Security Administration Appeals Council, a Claimant has an absolute right to object to a video hearing as long as the request is made at the earliest possible opportunity before the time set for the hearing. The Claimant, further, is not required to explain why he/she does not want to attend a video hearing; rather, the mere statement that they do not wish to appear by video teleconferencing is adequate to permit the Claimant to have a live hearing.