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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Video Hearings Revisited

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Mar 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

When Social Security first started offering video hearings for disability claims, I uniformly objected. My concerns at the time had to do with not knowing the judge who would hear the case.  I was also concerned that video hearings would lead to higher denial rates.  I decided last summer, however, that objecting to video hearings was not productive. This was due to the fact that people who did object to video hearings had to wait much longer for Social Security to schedule their days in court.  

On Second Thought . . .

I have now had the opportunity to do many video hearings. Based on what I have experienced so far, I think there is no reason to uniformly reject doing hearings via video.  It turns out, the process, and the results, are pretty much in line with doing hearings live. 

Many Concerns Prove Unfounded

Some of my specific concerns have been allayed. My primary fear was not knowing the judges. But, in doing video hearings, I am seeing the same small group of judges most of the time.  This allows me to get to know them. I can develop a sense of how these judges like to conduct hearings. At the same time, the judges can get accustomed to me. I trust that this will allow me to build up good will with them, which is very important.

Video May Not Be The Best Choice For Some Cases

There may still be specific cases where video hearings are not the best choice.  These would probably involve cases where the judge's perception of the claimant is critical. I could see this being a bigger issue in mental health cases, for example, where a claimant's appearance and behavior could send subtle clues that video does not pick up.

It's The Prehearing Preparation That Tells The Tale

For most cases, however, it appears that video hearings are as good as live ones.  Winning or losing still depends on preparing

Yes, I Can Hear You Now

the case properly before seeing a judge. With the proper groundwork done, a case should have the same chance if the judge is in the room or across the country.

Let me know your thoughts about video hearings. Have you had one? What was the result? Would you recommend it?

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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