Where do I go for my Social Security disability hearing? The answer to this question largely depends on where you live. Social Security disability hearings can be held in a variety of places from a local hearing office to a local field office. As your hearing approaches, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will mail you and your representative a Notice of Hearing. This notice will indicate the time and place where and when the hearing will be held. It will also contain other important information regarding details surrounding the hearing.
In the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, most Social Security disability hearings are held at 151 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204. This office is referred to as the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). The fourth floor of this building is generally used for hearings held in person, while a portion of the fifth floor is used for video teleconference hearings. It is important to remember when entering these areas that they are considered government facilities, and the use of metal detection and security officers are present. You will need valid picture identification to be allowed to enter these areas.
You should arrive at your hearing at least 30 minutes prior to its scheduled start time. At times, Administrative Law Judges will start hearings early as openings become available. Arriving early can also give you time to consult with your attorney, or if you do not have one, to look over the medical evidence the SSA currently has for you.
If you are outside of the Indianapolis area, there are other OHO offices where you may be asked to go. In Indiana, these are located in Fort Wayne, Valparaiso, and Evansville. As stated earlier, some hearings are also held in field offices. These are usually by video teleconference with the Judge at a remote location. Many of these are held before Judges in other states. Currently, you have the right to object to a video teleconference, as long as you do so on a timely basis.
It is important to know when and where your hearing will be held and show up in a timely manner. If you miss your hearing, the Social Security Administration can give you another hearing only if you have a good reason for missing it. You should not count on this though, as it is ultimately up to a Judge as to whether you had “good cause” for missing your hearing date. Many of these hearings can take numerous months and even years to get scheduled, so it is in your best interest to attend and to be prepared for your day in court.
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Author: Scott Lewis