Update from SSA regarding Hearings Amid COVID Pandemic

May 27, 2020

From Jeffrey Buckner, Associate Commissioner of SSA, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications:

I wanted to share an update regarding our ability to hold hearings during the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic. As many of you know, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, we suspended face-to-face service to the public in our field offices and hearings offices nationwide until further notice. In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this decision protects the population we serve and our employees during the pandemic. Accordingly, while we are unable to offer in-person and video teleconferencing (VTC) hearings, we are able to offer to conduct your hearing by telephone until we resume our normal operations.

Our hearing office staff are proactively contacting representatives and unrepresented claimants in advance of holding a telephone hearing to ensure all parties understand that we are only able to conduct hearings by telephone at this time and to determine their willingness to have a telephone hearing. Hearing office staff will confirm telephone number and other contact information on our records during this call as well.

If claimants or representatives would like to postpone their hearing until we resume standard operations, we will grant postponements as appropriate. Claimants or representatives may also call our hearing offices to confirm their willingness to have a telephone hearing or request a postponement. Please note that you can continue to call our hearing offices directly and employees are available to take your call during normal business hours

We have more information available on the Social Security & Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) internet page. Please visit and subscribe to keep up to date during the COVID-19 crisis.

I encourage you to share this information with your members, colleagues, affiliates, and other interested parties.


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