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Social Security – Phone Hearings: Now What?

I received my hearing notice and it says that my hearing has been scheduled by phone. Do I have to do a phone hearing?

No. You do not have to agree to a phone hearing.  If you object to a phone hearing and the Office of Hearings Operations has not yet re-opened for hearings in person, your hearing will rescheduled for a later date.

Our understanding is that if the offices re-open before your scheduled hearing date, SSA will reach out to transition the hearing to in-person or videoteleconferencing  (VTC).

When will the hearing offices re-open for hearings in-person?

As of this writing, SSA has not released a date that they will reopen for in person or VTC hearings. In our office, SSA has been scheduling phone hearings into early June.

Now that I had my hearing, when will I receive my decision?

Our office’s experience has been that decisions are still being issued promptly and have not been slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic.   For phone hearings, most clients have received their decisions within less than four (4) weeks after the hearing. Of course, there can still be differences from one judge to another.  Decisions can also be held up if the judge is waiting to receive additional information after your hearing.

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