The Effect of the Coronavirus Disease on Disability Cases in Charleston, South Carolina
Since April Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) have only been conducting disability hearings by telephone.
Telephone hearings are not mandatory and you may ask Social Security to postpone your hearing until normal operations resume and your hearing can be held in person. However, Social Security has not yet indicated a date as to when normal operations will resume. We recommend our clients proceed with a telephone hearing except in limited circumstances. Your claim will be presented just like an in-person hearing, except you will be connected to your attorney, the ALJ, a hearing reporter, and a vocational expert over the telephone. The telephone hearings are being run very efficiently and we have found that often clients are being scheduled more quickly for a hearing and are receiving their decision faster.
Although none of the local Social Security offices are accommodating walk-in visitors until further notice, case workers are continuing to work remotely to process disability applications and are available by telephone. Certain aspects of the disability process such as in person consultative exams scheduled by Social Security have been suspended, but we have not seen an overall significant delay in claims processing.
Please visit the Social Security Administration’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) page to find more on services and information regarding deadlines during the pandemic.