Disability, Online Services

Video Hearings at Social Security Increase Efficiency

August 31, 2015 • By

Last Updated: August 31, 2015

A smiling judge looks at you.If you received a denial on your application for Social Security benefits, and appealed to an administrative law judge, you may consider conducting your hearing through our remote video service delivery (VSD). VSD allows judges to hear cases from applicants in any geographic area using video and sound equipment.  Although similar to Skype, our state-of-the-art technology produces a much higher quality video experience. The video hearing process is convenient, significantly reduces the government’s cost over traditional hearings, and could result in a quicker decision on your appeal.

Video hearings offer the same secure and confidential process that hearings conducted in-person provide. The judge has the same access to the applicant’s full Social Security file, including medical and educational records, as judges in the local office would. The procedure and development of the case is equal to in-person hearings, and the judge hears and considers the same testimony.

If you have a hearing pending with Social Security, you’ll receive a notice to schedule your case with a hearing office. You’ll have the choice of conducting your hearing through VSD, which may allow your hearing to occur sooner.

For more information on what you need to know about the Social Security hearing process, visit our website or call 1-800-772-1213.


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Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Thomas

    I had a hearing on March 19, 2020. Was just curious on how long before I hear back with a decision? Any information would be appreciated!

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Thomas. Thank you for contacting us. You can check the application status in your my Social Security account which will show if a decision has been made on your appeal. If you do not already have an account, you can create one. Go to Sign In or Create an Account. If you’re unable to check the status of your appeal online, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

      • Thomas

        So, will the online account make note of a decision before I receive a written decision? Or would my local office be able to tell me if a decision was made before a written decision?

        • Vonda V.

          Thomas, the Application Status web page provides details regarding what information is provided. The Application Status feature provides the most up-to-date information available from Social Security’s records.

  2. debra l.

    i been waiting the out come of my hearing and i called they say they waiting for the judge to sign the paper what ever that means my hearing was in December and i have a lot of heath issues and i am trying to get windows pension

    • Ray F.

      Hi Debra. The length of time it takes to receive an official notice with the decision from your hearing varies. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending claims in your area. Also, many claims are randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. We care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. For security reasons, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. In your situation, we encourage you to contact your local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak to one of our representatives. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  3. Anyeli

    Thank YOU!!!I had my hearing on Nov. 9, 2010. You sulhod be the one receiving my attorney fees. I learned more from reading this page than I did from my attorney!! If she had told me 1/4 of what I read I might have known what to expect. Bless you and thank you for taking the time to help us by writing this article. I thought for sure I was going to be denied since it was taking almost 4 weeks to hear anything and now I feel a bit better.Have a Merry Christmas,Brenda

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for participating and using our blog, we are glad you like it and appreciate your comments and feedback!

  4. azdahar

    Hi why I’m still waiting for my ssi hearing now 20 mouths in paperwork it say 14 to 18 months why it’s so long thanks

  5. Thomas G.

    I am looking for more disability benefits due to the condition in my right arm elbow pain and right leg it is difficult to mobilize myself to do the things I want to do travel leisure sports,etc.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Thomas, thank you for using our online services. We regret to inform you that your disability payments cannot be increased if you have a new disability. Generally, your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit amount is based on your earnings prior to when you became disabled. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. If you have low income and limited resources, please contact us to check if you are eligible to receive SSI in addition to monthly Social Security benefits (SSDI). You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. You will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks!

  6. Alicia

    I filed for disability February 2013, I am diabetic 2, narcolepsy, neurothapy in my feet, ADHD, bipolar 2, had left knee replacement surgery in May and 51. I was divorced 2013 from a very verbally and mentally abusive man. I have no income because I can’t work. In May 2015 I received a letter saying they would be contacting my attorney for hearing date, I live in Madison County Ohio, as of today I still do not have a hearing date. I only get food stamps and staying at my moms temporarily. I need my disability to live. Please can someone help

    • Ray F.

      Hi Alicia! We are sorry to hear of your medical situations, and we assure you that we are trying to resolve all claims promptly, but the length of time it takes to get a hearing could vary from case to case. This is because there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals.
      We are trying to speed up the process by conducting many of our hearings through video teleconferencing (VTC) to speed up the process. Visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information, and continue working with your attorney and the local hearing office on specific questions about your case. Thanks !

  7. bettyg

    8.31.15, 231 pm

    to: Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist,

    IOWA SSDI folks NEVER gave my lawyer a copy of my ALJ hearing tape to him to prepare his BRIEF to go to appeals council.

    after 4 yrs. into the 2nd ssdi claim, he QUIT me, but returned both of my claims to me.

    he sent a notice he was resigning from my case and would have NO claim on any money won, etc. to DES MOINES, KC HQ, VIRGINIA, & to head alj.

    i also requested a copy of my 1st hearing tape from des moines, iowa ssdi staff; NO ONE replied NOR sent me a copy so i could try to prepare my brief for AC in virginia.

    so my case sat in AC hq storage unit for 2.5 yrs. waiting my turn to be looked at “fully”.

    since my FORMER LAWYER did NOT submit his brief on my 1st case, appeals council did NOT have to review my 2″ medical file.

    ac just read of 1st alj’s DENIAL of my claim, and DENIED me too.

    so please explain MORE to all of us the specific procedure in obtaining a copy of ALJ HEARING TAPES to be used for being denied by alj to prepare for APPEALS COUNCIL decision.

    WHO needs to be contacted and the specific directions to do so.

    frankly, ssdi folks screwed me by NOT releasing my 1st video tape to former lawyer or ME who represented myself at my 2nd alj hearing.

    fyi, i WON my 2nd alj case !! but of course they didn’t go back to the 1st ssdi claim when i was DISABLED; so i lost 3 more years of wages for having paid in 31 years.

    fyi, i have 3 FULL drawers full of files for my 2 ssdi claims of a 4 drawer office file plus copies of ALL drs. appts. since filing my 1st claim.

    RAY, also why doesn’t “LYME/TICK disease” have any comments on it in i believe 14.08? they show lyme disease, BUT nothing more.

    why can’t SS have detailed comments there like the rest of the approved list of impairments?

    i was bitten by a tick 46.5 yrs. ago; MISDIAGNOSED for 35 yrs. by 40-50 drs, unacceptable, which brought on many more illnesses/symptoms disabling me.

    thank you ray for answering me and other people’s replies promptly on this and other blogs sent out earlier by ss director.

    bettyg, iowa

    Reply ↓

    on September 3, 2015 at 5:21 pm said:
    i’m still waiting an answer from you/another staff member on my above comments/questions.

    this is the 2nd different question i’ve asked on 2 recent blogs in 1 month; NEITHER time did any of SS staff reply.

    i see answers for majority of folks below me and on the other thread i was on.

    thank you ray ?

    bettyg, iowa

    NO reply yet; 3rd trying to get answers; thanks!

  8. Paul T.

    Great ……!!I apply for last 11yrs they keep on denied me. I can’t sit or stand to long. They say I work. I try I don’t stay on job long,so will happened with me?

  9. Harold

    when we finally get a hearing date set do we still reeciever ssi benefits

    • Ray F.

      Hi Harold, if you make a request to have your benefits continue, you may be able to receive them through the date of the hearing decision. Please continue working with your local office for more detailed information in your case. You may also find helpful information in our publication, Your Right To Question The Decision To Stop Your Disability Benefits

  10. Cyndi

    I’m curious about the video hearings. I am waiting for my hearing date to be set-any day now. I have extreme anxiety and panic disorder and driving is impossible for me. The video option seems perfect for me, but my representative recommends against it. Are there any statistics re: approval/denial in comparison to appearance hearings? I’m all about efficiency, but it may be difficult for the judge to get a read on an applicant via video.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Cyndi. Video hearings offer the same secure and confidential process that hearings conducted in-person provide. The judge has the same access to the applicant’s full Social Security file, including medical and educational records, as judges in the local office would. The procedure and development of the case is equal to in-person hearings, and the judge hears and considers the same testimony. Please go to our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information about hearings held through video teleconferencing (VTC).

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