What: Video teleconferencing is the ability to hold a hearing in two different locations at the same time using video and audio equipment. All of the parties in each location can hear and see each other via a signal transmitted over telephone lines or internet broadband.
Where: Video teleconferencing equipment was set up in our Austintown office in September 2009. It allows us to access hearings in Pittsburgh and Erie, PA; Cleveland, OH; Morgantown, WV and Norfolk, VA. It can be used in any location that is comparably equipped.
Why: The purpose of this Social Security Administration pilot program is to provide an efficient and cost-effective alternative way of conducting hearings and to improve SSA’s service to the public. Using our VTC equipment to participate in hearings offers claimants and their representatives an opportunity to save time and travel costs they would otherwise incur by appearing at the hearing in person. The claimants no longer have to travel to Cleveland or Pittsburgh, etc., for their Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income hearing. As of December 2009, 14 representative sites were certified for the program.