Applying for social security benefits can be a complicated and confusing process. The Social Security Administration has its own rules, procedures, and regulations. Most first-time applications for benefits are denied, and the claimant will need to file a request for reconsideration. If that request is also denied, the claimant can appeal and have a disability hearing. At the hearing, vocational experts provide testimony.
Discuss Your Case With a Las Vegas Social Security Disability Attorney
At Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas, we understand the crucial role that vocational experts play in disability hearings. They will provide evidence about whether you can do your previous job or any job at the hearing. They will also give evidence or exhibits from the case and your past work history. Our team of skilled disability benefits attorneys knows how to work with vocational experts to benefit our clients. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.
What Are Vocational Experts?
A vocational expert is an expert witness that provides testimony at disability hearings. Disability hearings are the second level of appeal for disability applications. Very few first-time applications are approved by the Social Security Administration. Most people have to file a request for reconsideration. When denied, they need to file an appeal to have a disability hearing. Disability hearings are frequently conducted over the telephone, and they involve the claimant, an administrative law judge, a vocational expert, and an attorney.
The vocational expert will provide testimony as to the current job market and the needed skills to perform specific jobs. The Social Security Administration will call vocational experts to provide testimony to assist the judge in determining whether the claimant is eligible for benefits. Most vocational experts will have college degrees and experience in the field of vocational rehabilitation. Even though the Social Security Administration pays the vocational expert, he or she must remain an impartial witness. In other words, the vocational expert doesn’t take sides in the disability hearing.
Vocational experts will testify to the skills workers need to perform certain types of jobs. They will also provide testimony on the current job market related to the claimant’s job skills. The main purpose of calling a vocational expert is to help the administrative law judge understand what types of jobs a claimant can perform with their current medical condition or disability limitations.
The Role of Vocational Experts in Disability Hearings in Las Vegas
Usually, the administrative law judge will call upon the vocational expert at the hearing and ask the expert specific questions about whether the claimant can do their previous work or any other work. The vocational expert will be provided all of the evidence/exhibits from the hearing and the claimant’s past work history and have time to review them before the hearing. During the hearing, the administrative law judge will pose hypothetical questions to the vocational expert.
For example, the judge may ask the expert to assume that the hypothetical person has the same education, age, and work experience as the claimant. The judge may go on to add limitations, such as an inability to lift heavy objects, to the hypothetical person and ask the vocational expert whether the person could still do the claimant’s past related work. If the expert’s answer is no, he or she will discuss whether the person can do any other types of jobs.
If a vocational expert does think that the claimant may be able to do certain types of jobs, he or she will provide those job titles, codes, and the number of those types of jobs in the claimant’s residential area. Administrative law judges rely heavily on the testimony provided by the vocational expert. If a vocational expert testifies that there are jobs that someone with your level of impairment can still do in your residential area, the judge will probably deny your claim for disability benefits.
How Can an Attorney Help With the Vocational Experts at My Hearing?
Vocational experts play a significant role in disability hearings. In many cases, the questions asked by the administrative law judge to the vocational expert are limited. Usually, a judge will ask what types of jobs a hypothetical person with a similar disability could potentially do. When you are represented by an experienced disability benefits attorney at your hearing, your attorney will be able to ask more detailed questions of the vocational expert than the judge asks.
At Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas, our attorneys have been through numerous disability hearings. We know what types of questions are important and persuasive to administrative law judges. Our attorneys know how to question the vocational expert skillfully and thoroughly. Our goal is to ask questions of the vocational expert so that he or she will eventually rule out other types of jobs. Our attorney may add the limitation of experiencing severe headaches, for example, to show that because you have headaches, you cannot do the types of jobs the vocational expert is recommending because you have headaches.
Our disability attorneys thoroughly prepare for disability hearings by investigating our clients’ medical conditions. We may even consult with our own experts to find out more about how our clients’ condition limits their ability to work at any job, including their previous job. We use the information we gather about our clients’ functional limitations to question the vocational expert. Our goal is to question the vocational expert in a way that shows that you are not able to perform jobs because of the severity of your disability.
Contact a Las Vegas Vocational Experts Attorney Today
If you’d like to learn more about how a vocational expert can impact your claim for disability benefits, Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas is here to help. Whether you would like to file an application for benefits for the first time, or you need to appeal a denial of your benefits, we can successfully represent your interests throughout the entire process. Contact Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas today to schedule your free initial consultation.