LAW FIRM BLOG
Hearing By Video Conference
August 17, 2019
Claimants have the right to choose whether to have their hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in person or by video conference. In the Hudson Valley, in the past year, 1855 occured by video and 1335 live in-person. While the format of the hearing will be the same, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
Video hearings tend to be located closer to where you reside and, thus, may benefit those with mobility issues. In addition, these hearings are usually scheduled more quickly than traditional hearings. The in-person hearing request may delay your case for several more months. Finally, some claimants may feel less intimidated and anxious with the judge on a video monitor rather than in the same room.
However, other claimants may find it an opportunity to "connect", face-to-face with the ALJ. The intimacy of the setting may help the judge to know you as a "person" and better assess your credibility. Your credibility plays a major part in deciding your disability case, especially if you have psychiatric impairments or physical issues not fully documented in the medical record. Consider also that the remote ALJ may fail to notice important details, such as, that the claimant walked with a limp while entering the hearing room, that he appeared to be in pain while seated during the hearing, or that he exhibited scars, lesions, or other deformities.