Over the past few years, there has been a record number of individuals seeking Social Security Disability benefits. Whatever the causes, the resulting backlog means that needy applicants must often wait as much as 2 years to get a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. To improve the situation, SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue has begun to institute the use of video hearings. This means that an Administrative Law Judge from anywhere in the U.S., may be assigned to a hearing. A judge in a less backed-up region can therefore help adjudicate cases in busier districts. Commissioner Astrue is to be applauded for taking steps to speed up the backlog.