Since March when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the Social Security Administration has suspended in person hearings. Since then, the primary options have been to conduct a hearing by telephonic conference call or to wait for a time when in person hearings are once again possible. Another option is to request a fully favorable on the record decision by submitting updated evidence and a brief to the attention of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the hope that the ALJ can approve the case without a hearing. If a fully favorable on the record hearing is not possible, then up up until now, the only choices have been to elect a telephone hearing or wait. Social Security is now offering video hearings via Microsoft Teams meetings. The claimant will have an option to elect a phone or video hearing in 2021 or await an in person hearing. We have our first video hearing since the pandemic started scheduled in January 2021. In making this announcement on December 2nd Andrew Saul the Commissioner of SS said, “To continue to ensure all participants’ safety, we expect online video hearings and telephone hearings will be the only two hearing options for the foreseeable future.” If you would like to read more about this change please click here.