As part of their cost savings measures, the Social Security Administration has closed all temporary remote hearing sites. For us, locally, that affects the Lima area. Lima, Ohio used to have a temporary remote site where Administrative Law Judges would come in and conduct hearings so that Claimants would not have to travel long distances to get their hearing.
I have already seen the effects of this for my clients, having to secure transportation from Lima up to Toledo (a distance of over 70 miles). It is usually a very strenuous undertaking. The thinking from SSA seems to be to convert some of those temporary remote sites to video sites. This would allow Judges to conduct the hearings remotely while not requiring Claimants to drive great distances.
That seems to be the plan for the Lima office but that transition takes time. In the meantime, you may be eligible for a travel reimbursement from SSA for your travel to your hearing. I will keep you updated on this as information is released. If you have questions, please let me know.