DisabilityAppeal.com has a interesting article on the importance of requesting the hearing tape if you are denied at hearing.
In many instances, once the tapes are obtained and listened to, parts of the record will be inaudible. And in a lot of cases [Social Security] can’t produce the tapes at all because they have been purportedly lost (usually when an ALJ said something during the disability benefits hearing that may reflect poorly upon him). An incomplete or missing record, when noted in a legal brief sent to the Appeals Council … results in an almost automatic sending of the case back for a new hearing.
Good point. I have seen a number of instances where a hearing tape was lost which resulted in the case being sent back for another hearing. I disagree that requesting the hearing tape is an essential requirement, but it is certainly does not hurt.
But, the “lost tape” is going the way of the dodo. Many hearing offices are retiring multi-channel audio tapes and replacing them with digital recordings. This makes it much less likely for a hearing tape recording to be lost.
So much for the easy win. Back to rolling up your sleeves and making a strong legal argument.