It is natural to worry about your situation if the government has denied your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance, but it is not unusual to receive a rejection. In fact, many applicants do not succeed at getting an initial approval. That is why Social Security has an appeals process that includes a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge to determine if your claim for benefits has merit.
The good news is that Social Security allows for different ways to conduct an appeals hearing. Even if you have a serious health problem that limits your mobility, you have options that may accommodate you.
Attend an in-person hearing
Perhaps the most obvious choice is to go to a hearing location and make your case in person. Social Security requires that if you cannot attend on a certain date, you must let the hearing office know about it in writing. If you can go but need an accommodation for a disability, you have to inform the hearing office. There are also requirements to submit evidence to the hearing office. Pay special attention to these rules since they differ if you want your legal counsel to send the evidence.
Attend the hearing by video
Advances in technology have made it possible to stream high-quality audio and video across long distances, so if you cannot attend at a hearing office, you may consider traveling to a place that streams audio and video to the location where the ALJ will hear your arguments. In fact, going to a streaming location instead of a hearing office may expedite your hearing, which could be particularly beneficial if time is of the essence.
Attend the hearing by phone
Social Security also allows for hearings through a telephone. Applicants may use their personal cell phone, though a landline may be a better option since it lessens the risk of a loss of connection. A phone hearing permits even more flexibility in terms of where you can be during your hearing. Keep in mind that the hearing will still commence as usual with you taking the oath, giving testimony and answering questions as needed.
Your disability may limit you from going almost anywhere from your home, but you can take heart that there are a variety of ways to conduct an appeals hearing if you want to appeal the denial of your SSDI application.