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How COVID-19 May Affect Your Disability Hearing

The Coronavirus continues to cause disruptions in the day-to-day operations of many governmental bodies and organizations across Georgia. To adapt to the recent developments, the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) is making temporary changes to how disability hearings are held.

Many of these changes are being implemented to protect Social Security Administration (SSA) staff members and proactively fight the spread of COVID-19. However, these changes may affect how your disability hearing is conducted as well as which path forward is in your best interests.

How Will Disability Hearings be Conducted?

As of March 30, Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) will be conducting disability hearings over the phone in their own homes. This means that they may not have access to physical copies of files submitted to the OHO, which can cause delays for some disability cases. Scheduled in-person hearings that were affected by COVID-19 may still occur on the same date over the phone.

Impact of COVID-19 on Claims

Many medical facilities are currently focused on providing essential or emergency services. As a result, individuals may experience delays in receiving medical records for their disability hearing. While ALJs cannot be compelled to waive deadlines for the submission of medical records, many judges in Georgia have been asked to be understanding of delays caused by COVID-19.

Options Available for Those Seeking SSDI/SSI

While many OHO and SSA services are limited due to the Coronavirus, people seeking SSDI/SSI benefits still have options available to them. You have the right to refuse conducting a disability hearing over the phone and to reschedule to a later date. An experienced hearing claims advocate can help decide if this is the best option for your individual circumstances.

Similarly, for a person with compelling medical evidence, requesting an On-the-Record (OTR) decision may be a viable option. This can help reduce delays and minimize additional steps in the SSDI claims process. A member of our team can help determine if submitting an OTR request is in your best interests and guide you through the submission process.

Contact a Hearing Claims Advocate Today

Changes to the way OHO conducts disability hearings can add further complications to an already complex process. The experienced hearing claims advocates at the Khaki Law Firm can guide you through how the Coronavirus may affect your disability hearing and move forward with your best interests at heart. To determine your options, call our team today.

The Khaki Law Firm
Our Firm Approach

There are many Social Security disability law firms throughout Georgia. What sets The Khaki Law Firm apart from the rest? Why should you choose us? We are honored to represent those who have worked hard most of their lives, but due to a mental or physical impairment are no longer able to maintain employment and earn an income.

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    Have you had to stop working due to a physical and/or mental disability?YesNo
    Have you seen a medical professional in the past 6 months for your disability?YesNo
    Have you been advised by your medical professional that you are unable to work and need to file for disability?YesNo
    Have you made an application for social security disability and/or had a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge?YesNo
    Are you currently or have you in the past received any benefits from the Social Security Administration?YesNo

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    With offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta, we provide legal assistance to people throughout Georgia and the Southeast in all matters of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    We are ready to help you, and offer multiple ways to reach us.