If your Social Security disability case involves a question that would require professional expertise to answer, it might be necessary for a vocational expert to testify at your administrative hearing. Vocational experts are experts on economic and industry issues who meet qualifications set by the Social Security Administration.
The purpose of a vocational expert is to help the judge determine if you are “disabled.” The Social Security Act states that someone is “disabled” when he suffers from a physical or mental impairment or group of impairments that is cumulatively so severe that it prevents the him from performing any job he previously held and performing any job available to him in light of his age, education, work history, and the current state of the economy.
During your hearing, the administrative law judge will probably ask the vocational expert to list examples of jobs you could perform despite your impairments. The vocational expert will assess the strenuousness of various jobs and assign them ratings, such as “sedentary”or “light.” The expert will then give his opinion as to what level of exertion you are capable of. The questions that the judge asks the vocational expert may seem hypothetical and somewhat irrelevant to your actual life, but the judge will base his decision on the expert’s answers.
If a vocational expert is needed, the Social Security Administration will usually be the one to appoint such an expert. There may be circumstances, though, where your Detroit disability lawyer can help you hire your own vocational expert to testify. Vocational experts testify in Social Security disability hearings far more frequently than do doctors. However, the factors that vocational experts consider are frequently more subjective than those considered by doctors. Therefore, bias can affect the testimony of a vocational expert more than can it that of a doctor. It becomes fairly obvious, then, why a vocational expert working for the Social Security Administration can be problematic.
The idea of a hearing may seem daunting now, but with the aid of a good Detroit disability lawyer, the experience will not be so intimidating. Call experienced Detroit disability lawyer Marc J. Shefman today for a free consultation.