1 in 3 SSD Claimants Uses A Social Security Disability Video Hearing for Their Appeal
According to a new report, 1 in 3 Social Security Disability applicants who go through the appeals process request a Social Security Disability video hearing rather than appearing in person.
“It’s common to have some anxieties about getting ready for a Social Security Disability hearing,” said David Bueltemann, Allsup manager of senior claimant representatives. “You often have to decide either to attend a video hearing or an in-person hearing for SSDI benefits.”
Data from the Social Security Administration shows that 171,475 video hearings on SSDI benefits were conducted in 2014, and that number is likely to go up in 2015, as the Baby Boomer population becomes ill or ages out of work, and as the general number of social security disability applicants goes up.
Because 60% of first-time Social Security Disability applicants are denied, the appeals process is very important. However, for extremely physically disabled people, or residents of remote areas with no nearby Social Security Administration office, video hearings are becoming increasingly important.
“Saving both time and the costs of travel can be good reasons to participate in a video hearing, but it may be important for you to meet with an ALJ in person to provide evidence that supports your SSDI claim for benefits,” Bueltemann added. “And it saves travel time for the judge, who then can have more time to hear and decide cases.”
There were 99 Social Security Disability application and appeals video conferences held in Columbia, South Carolina between September 2014 and January 2015, out of 1218. Most of the hearings – 1119 – were in-person, before a disability benefits judge. In Charleston, South Carolina, 401 SSDI hearings out of 1576 were video hearings, while the remaining 1175 were in-person.
The Social Security Administration’s definition of disability is strict. To determine if an applicant is able to return to work sooner than they claim. This strictness helps prevent fraud, but it also means a large number of seriously disabled people get rejected. Fortunately, you can appeal a denial of your benefits application up to 4 times. You have the right to question the decision through a first appeal of your SSD benefits denial, which must be submitted within 60 days of receiving your benefits denial letter. If your first appeal is denied, then you begin the process before an administrative law judge.
The Strom Law Firm Helps Social Security Disability Applicants Through the SSD Appeals Process
Going to court to defend yourself can be intimidating, especially if you do not have legal help. Many Social Security Disability applicants hire an attorney to help them through the process, either at the appeals stage, or simply to help with their first application. While it is not required, a Social Security Disability attorney has worked with through the applications process many times and their experience can help speed up the process for you.
If you live in South Carolina or Georgia, and have you, your spouse, or your child has suffered a long-term or permanent disability, you may qualify for SSDI. Because so many applicants are denied every year, it may be in your best interest to get help with your disability benefits application from the beginning. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the Social Security Disability Claims process and can help you file an application, and step you through the appeals process. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your disability case. 803.252.4800