Social Security has sent proposed new regulations on Setting the Manner for the Appearance of Parties and Witnesses at a Hearing to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. If approved, the proposed regulations will be published in the Federal Register for public comment. Social Security will have to consider the comments before adopting final regulations. Here's Social Security's summary of the proposal:
We propose to revise 20 CFR parts 404 and 416 to establish a preference for the manner in which parties and expert witnesses appear at a hearing, including by video teleconference (VTC) or by telephone. We also propose to require non-parties, including medical and vocational experts, to appear by telephone or VTC, unless circumstances in the case warrant a different manner of appearance. We would specify that although the adjudicator may identify facts that may impact an individual’s manner of appearance, it is ultimately the Agency’s responsibility to schedule the hearing and determine the manner in which individuals will appear.