OMB Proposes Mandatory Video Hearings in Social Security Cases

November 28, 2018

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved publication of proposed new Social Security regulations on Setting the Manner for the Appearance of Parties and Witnesses at a Hearing. Here is Social Security’s summary of the proposal before it was submitted:
We propose to revise and unify some of the rules that govern how, where, and when individuals appear for hearings before an administrative law judge at the hearings level and before a disability hearing officer at the reconsideration level of our administrative review process. At both levels, when we schedule a hearing, we propose that we will determine the manner in which the parties to the hearing will appear: by VTC [Video Teleconference], in person, or, under limited circumstances, by telephone. We would not permit individuals to opt out of appearing by VTC. We also propose that we would determine the manner in which witnesses to a hearing will appear.

Remember, this is a proposal. It has to be published in the Federal Register for public comment. The agency must consider the comments before submitting a final proposal to OMB for approval. This process can take well over a year. Congressional opposition could derail the proposal.

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