5 Tips for Telephonic Social Security Hearings

The COVID-19 pandemic has created major changes for Social Security claimants nationwide.

One of the biggest changes is that Social Security Hearings will now take place over the telephone. We compiled the top five tips for appearing for your hearing over the telephone.

  1. Location, Location, Location. Make sure you are in a quiet place with good cell phone service where you can sit comfortably and fully engage in the process.
  2. Wait for it. Wait your turn when speaking. These hearings are recorded and if people speak over each other, it causes problems. The best approach is to let the ALJ finish asking the question and wait two seconds to respond.
  3. Time is of the Essence. Be available thirty minutes prior to your hearing. Sometimes there are technology challenges delay hearing start times, so be prepared to be available beyond your scheduled start time.
  4. Take Charge. Charge your cell phone or cordless house phone. Make sure you have enough minutes too. The hearing will likely last for an hour.
  5. Short and Sweet. Keep your answers short and clear. Only answer what is asked. Focus each and every question back to your disabling conditions and limitations.

Additional Resources

Using Technology In A Crisis (PDF)