During these unsettling and unprecedented times, we at Doherty, Cella, Keane LLP want to update you on how we and the Social Security Administration are handling the Covid-19 pandemic. Our highest order of business is to ensure the safety of both our employees and the claimants we represent.
At the moment Social Security is still operating under the official position of full capacity. Local offices are open, most hearings are still being held and the payment center is business as usual. However, some Offices of Hearings Operations have closed and some judges are not available. In appropriate cases after consultation with our clients we are requesting that telephonic hearings be held. There is no official Social Security policy on whether to hold hearings via telephone or not and thus far it seems to be up to each individual office or judge. We are continuing our practice of writing On The Record (OTR) requests on all cases and are following up more forcefully than normal asking for their strong consideration. Cases which would never have been granted an OTR on in the past may just be granted under this environment.
Doherty, Cella, Keane LLP is operating at full strength. As always we have a mix with some folks working in the office and some remotely. All of our attorneys and our managerial staff were already set up to work remotely as needed but over the past few weeks we have taken steps to enable nearly our entire staff to be equipped to also work remotely. Certainly everything we do which is within our control we can continue to do whether it be in our office or remotely. Should SS shut down and stop processing claims and stop holding hearings this would be a significant impact to our business and to our claimants and carriers. However we would still be able to fully operate on our end.
In the meantime we are hoping for the best and please stay healthy. We will update you with any further developments.