ILLINOIS (RFD) — Social Security is highlighting to the public some changes regarding the hearings process during COVID.

Hearings were temporarily closed in March of last year due to the COVID pandemic and recently the agency announced how they would be proceeding forward with those hearings. Jack Myers with Social Security indicates they are now offering telephone or online video hearings.

According to Myers, neither hearing option is mandatory nor can any hearing be postponed until in-person hearings are available again. If you wish to take advantage of the hearing, access to the internet, a device with a camera and speaker is required. Myers adds if you’ve declined a telephone hearing in the past, Social Security will likely be reaching back out to you about taking advantage of the new video option.