TN 10 (12-17)
DI 33025.085 Conducting Disability Hearings by Telephone
A. Policy for conducting disability hearings by telephone
The preferred methods for conducting hearings are in-person or by the use of video teleconferencing (VTC) equipment. See DI 33025.080 Using Video teleconferencing (VTC) Equipment to Conduct Hearings. A disability hearing officer (DHO) may conduct a hearing by telephone only when extraordinary circumstances prevent the beneficiary or recipient from appearing at the hearing in-person or by VTC.
Extraordinary circumstances are generally limited to incarceration, institutionalization, natural disasters, or very unusual circumstances directly related to a beneficiary or recipient’s impairments. Under these circumstances, the beneficiary or recipient does not have an opportunity to object to appearing by telephone.
When a DHO schedules a beneficiary or recipient to appear by telephone, the following conditions must be met:
An interpreter is not required because there is no evidence that the beneficiary or recipient would have an inability to hear, read or speak English. See DI 23040.001 DDS: Interpreters for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) or Individuals Requiring Language Assistance.
If there are witnesses, the telephone hearing must accommodate them by conference call or by other means, so that the beneficiary or recipient and his or her representative (if appropriate), are able to hear and respond to all testimony.
Hearings conducted by telephone must follow the same format as traditional, in-person hearings. The individual has the right to appoint a representative, review the record prior to the hearing, submit additional evidence, request assistance with obtaining additional evidence, present witnesses, and question any witnesses. (These rights are set out in the initial continuing disability review ‘cessation notice’ sent to the individual).