Claimants are usually worried when they see a vocational expert at their Social Security Disability hearing. The good news is that a vocational expert can help make your case for disability. Vocational experts have two main functions at a hearing.
- They classify the type of work that you’ve been performing for the last 15 years.
- They tell the judge what type of work you can perform with your particular disability. They can also answer questions regarding the physical requirements of your job.
Vocational experts use their professional experience and government publications like the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) to make their recommendations. You may not understand the expert’s testimony because it’s full of numbers and codes that aren’t explained during the hearing. A vocational expert’s testimony usually proceeds like this.
The judge will ask if the vocational expert has any personal or professional association with you. Then, the judge will ask if the vocational expert’s testimony is in agreement with the DOT’s definition of your type of work. If it is different, the judge will ask how it conflicts. The expert will also detail the required demands of your occupation. This testimony is very helpful to your attorney. The judge will ask if you can perform the same type of job you previously had or what kind of work you could perform with your disability. Your attorney will decide whether to ask the expert any questions on your behalf.
How critical is the expert’s testimony?
The vocational expert’s testimony is important, but it does not decide your case. The judge considers many factors before deciding if you are actually disabled and the extent of your disability.
In Florida, a vocational expert will give the judge the background needed to make a fair decision. Having an experienced attorney representing you will help your case substantially. If you’re in Boca Raton, Orlando or anywhere in the Sunshine State, we can help you qualify for Social Security Disability. Call us to discuss your case. We’ll put all our experience to work for you.