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SSA Enacts Rule Maintaining Video Hearing Opt-Out, Making Telephone Witnesses and Interpreters the D

SSA issued a final rule on “Setting the Manner for the Appearance of Parties and Witnesses at a Hearing” on December 18, 2019. The final rule, which preserves claimants’ rights to opt out of video hearings, was described in detail in the December 2019 issue of the Forum. The revised 20 CFR §§404.936 and 416.1436, which went into effect on January 17, 2020, say “We will generally direct any person we call as a witness, other than you or any other party to the hearing, including a medical expert or a vocational expert, to appear by telephone or by video teleconferencing.” Exceptions exist when “[t]elephone or video teleconferencing equipment is not available to conduct the appearance;” SSA det

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