A new Social Security regulation allows the testimony of medical and vocational experts by phone or video as long as advance notice is given to the claimant of the means of testimony. Administrative Law Judges(ALJ) have long been permitted to call medical experts to testify in person. When the regulations were changed to permit video hearings, some ALJs began to schedule medical experts to testify by phone even though there were no speicific regulations to permit them to do so. NOSSCR member Ivan Katz challenged the unauthorized practice successfully in lawsuits filed in the US district court in Conneticut. Social Security recently issued a new regulation to permit telephone and video testimony by witness. As an experienced Omaha disability lawyer, I have always felt that it is helpful for the ALJ to observe any witness while they testify. Some experts like other witnesses are not credible.The new rules also permit the claimant to appear by telephone if extraordinary circumstances exist. If the claimant objects to an expert witness testifying by phone after advance notice has been given, the ALJ still has the right to determine how the witness will appear.
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