If you found this article, you might have a social security disability hearing scheduled. If so, congratulations! You have waited so long and you have finally made it to the very last step of the disability benefits process. You are probably beginning to think, and maybe even worry, about what these hearings are like. Before I begin, let me tell reassure you, so long as you are prepared, you will do fine.
First, you should know that there are two types of hearings: a live hearing and a video hearing.
As the name suggests, a video hearing is performed remotely over video teleconference. Essentially, you are in one city and the judge is in another. You and the judge will be communicating over a large TV with a live camera attached to the top. The process is a lot like using Skype. The hearing is held as if everyone is in the same room. For a video hearing, your attorney and a social security hearing monitor will be with you in the room.
A live hearing, on the other hand, has a few more people present. There is a judge, experts, you, your attorney, and perhaps a few other people all in the same room. Occasionally, the experts will call into the hearing and not actually be present. Whether or not the expert is present will not affect the outcome of your case.
Regardless of whether it is a video hearing or live hearing, these hearings are not very long. They usually only last about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The hearings are recorded. The judge will usually ask you questions about your past work and how your medical problems are keeping you from being able to work.
These hearings are not like anything you have seen on TV and are very informal. Nevertheless, this hearing is extremely important to your case. You should meet with your attorney before your hearing and discuss what issues are going to be covered and how you should testify in a way that is honest and persuasive.