Social Security Disability Hearings and Vocational Expert Testimonies

The determination of whether an individual is eligible for social security disability benefits may require thorough deliberation through hearings, especially in appeals cases. Since the court of law decides that a fact is only a fact when proved beyond reasonable doubt, there are instances when a vocational expert also known as an “expert witness” is called by the Social Security Administration to testify at an individual’s disability appeal hearing.

This expert’s testimony can either make or break an appeal. The evidence put forward by the vocational expert witness can become a major deciding factor in determining the most well-informed, just, and reliable judgment. Unless you have a medical condition that is included in an impairment listing, the testimony of the vocational expert regarding your ability to work is vital to the overall outcome of the hearing. During the hearing, the vocational expert classifies an individual’s relevant prior jobs and identifies his or her transferable skills. Generally, the administrative law judge (ALJ) asks the vocational expert about his opinion on what jobs the appellant can perform despite current limitations.

If you’re making an appeal to receive social security disability benefits, a disability attorney can provide indispensable help in challenging the vocational expert’s opinion. Your attorney along with the ALJ can ask the expert a series of questions to prove that you can no longer do your old job due to your impairments. However, if the vocational expert testifies that you are no longer capable of doing your past work, the ALJ can ask him if you can still do any other jobs. If the VE testifies that you can still do other jobs despite your work-related impairments, there’s a great possibility that your claim will be denied. Therefore, the importance of working with an experienced social security disability attorney who can build and strengthen your case cannot be understated.

Why Do Social Security Judges Call Vocational Expert Witnesses to Testify at Hearings?,


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