COVID-19, General, Online Services

Hearings with the Social Security Administration During COVID-19

January 21, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: March 17, 2021

Hearings with the Social Security Administration During COVID-19In March 2020, we temporarily closed all of our Social Security Hearing Offices due to the Coronavirus pandemic and are not offering in-person hearings. During the office closures, we are providing two flexible, safe, and secure hearing options: either a telephone hearing or our new option of an online video hearing.

Additional information on both of these hearing options is available here.

What are online video hearings?

Online video hearings are a secure way to conduct hearings over the internet, using a free platform called Microsoft Teams. You and your representative, if you have one, can attend the online video hearing safely and securely from any private place with a secure internet connection using a camera-enabled smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Like our telephone hearings option, the online video hearings option is not mandatory. We will conduct online video hearings the same way we conduct telephone and in-person hearings. During the hearing, the administrative law judge (ALJ) will swear in all hearing participants and listen to your testimony. You will see the ALJ and representative, if one has been appointed. Other participants, such as vocational/medical experts and interpreters, will join by phone.

What are the technology requirements to participate in an online video hearing?

You and an appointed representative, if applicable, must have access to email and a personal computer, laptop, or Android/Apple tablet or mobile device with a secure and private, high-speed Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. The device must have a camera, microphone, and speakers. If using a mobile device, you must download the free Microsoft Teams application.

We will send you a link to a user guide that explains how to access and use Microsoft Teams before the date of an online video hearing.

Please read our publication Online Video Hearings at the Social Security Administration for additional information. You can also watch a short video about online video hearings is available here.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. TJB

    A phone hearing was scheduled for April 2021. we requested video or in person but were told phone was only option. Then received a SSDI letter confirming the original phone date..
    So we collected all medical records and several RFCs from specialists and submitted within 15 days of hearing date. The next day, received a message that request for video or in person was accepted.
    Meanwhile SSDI cancelled the April date. How long will it take for a video to be scheduled.?
    Would the hearing reviewers ever consider approving SSDI based on multiple RFCs, without a hearing?

    • V.V.

      Hi TJB, please call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. Brielle L.

    It’s good to know that despite all the challenges that we have encountered since last year, we are still fighting and going on! 🙂

  3. Frances M.

    I need to talk to a rep about our 2020 tax return. After total retirement by my husband in 2020 our income drastically changed.
    Hoping to get adjustment on our MEDICARE additional monthly deduction.
    We have already filed electronically for 2020

    • V.V.

      Hi Frances, thanks for using our blog. To report a Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount Life-Changing Event, complete and return form SSA-44 to your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  4. abhinav

    I agree with you. I was looking for some cross-references, and found this one. I really think that I found something worth reading. I am putting it on my RSS feed to ensure that I don’t miss out on your posts.

  5. John D.

    SSA isn’t taking any new, manual activities to lessen, suspend, or defer any advantages during this period, albeit computerized activities may proceed.
    Carmichael Home Care Assistance is a premier provider of in-home care for seniors, allowing them to age in the comfort of home.

  6. mark d.

    Beşiktaş evden eve nakliyat şirketiniz olarak sğalıklı ve kurumsal bir hizmet için size hizmete her daim olarak hazırız. Eşya taşımacılığında biz en iyi sisteme sahibiz.
    Beşiktaş Evden Eve Nakliyat Beşiktaş nakliyat eşyaların taşınması ve güvencesi altına alınmasında
    en iyi hizmeti sunmayı hedeflemiştir.

  7. Susan H.

    No one cares sadly-

  8. Tom

    Please read: We need help!!

    Fwd: LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anti-Asian hate crimes and harassment rise to historic levels during COVID-19 pandemic

  9. L. F.

    I have sent in for an informal hearing for my son. It was received Feb 12. How long til I hear for a date

    • Julie W.

      Before Covid it took 12-15 months. With covid, however, because so many people are not comfortable having their hearing held simply by telephone, it is taking appx 3-4 months to get your hearing date. However, keep in mind that they are currently scheduling for June 2021 hearings already in most areas.

  10. Robin A.

    I had my hearing the beginning of August 2020 & have not heard a thing. How long does the case judge normally take to make a decision?

    • Holly F.

      Usually 30-60 days. You should call SSA, and when you get through, explain that you haven’t received the decision and request extra time to appeal in case the decision is unfavorable. (I hope it’s not!) Also, make a note of who you talk to and ask them to notate your file with the request for extra time.

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