Key Players at the Hearing: Vocational Experts

by Editorial Board on August 18, 2010 · 0 comments

in Social Security Hearings,Past Relevant Work (Step 4),Capability to Work (Step 5),Your Limitations,Vocational or Work Issues

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Many individuals who are going to their Social Security hearing have never been to a hearing before and are unsure of what to expect. The way in which most people envision the hearing is generally very different from the place and manner in which the hearings are conducted. Unlike the typical television courtroom scene, a Social Security disability hearing is conducted in a much more informal manner and without any spectators witnessing the hearing. The only people who will be present at the hearing will be the judge, a court reporter, your attorney (if you have one), and typically medical and vocational experts.

A vocational expert has a very limited but important role to play during the hearing. When the vocational expert is given the opportunity to testify, he or she will usually begin by describing and characterizing your past relevant work in vocational terms. Following this initial testimony, the vocational expert will have to provide an opinion as to whether or not there are jobs available in the national economy that you could perform. The vocational expert makes this determination by responding to a hypothetical question posed by the judge in which certain variables that represent your various impairments are put into the hypo. The judge will then take the vocational expert’s testimony   into consideration along with other hearing testimony in order to compile the decision you will later receive in the mail.

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