What is a Vocational Expert


What's a Vocational Expert ― and will one be at my Disability hearing?

A VE is a jobs professional who will give an opinion about what work, if any, you can perform in the local, regional and National economies.

A Vocational Expert (VE) knows what skills are needed to do certain work and what jobs are available in the current economy. Because Social Security Disability benefits are awarded to those who can't work due to a medical condition, VE's have an important role in the Disability determination process in determining whether an individual gets benefits or not. However in reality the Vocational Expert can be reduced significantly because the ALJ chooses what hypothetical to go with

Vocational Experts are called upon to give expert opinions about whether or not you can work, taking into consideration your condition, age, education, experience and limitations. Vocational Experts are objective sources who have no stake in the outcome of your Disability case. They get paid the same whether or not the court finds you disabled or not.

Before your Disability hearing, the Vocational Expert will review your file to learn about your previous work experience, skill level and physical limitations. The VE may also make observations and listen to testimony during your hearing. At the end of the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will call the VE as an expert witness to answer questions about a hypothetical worker, who just so happens to have your identical ailments, educational background and work history. Basically, the VE will answer two main questions:
  • Can the worker still perform any of the jobs held over the past 15 years?
  • Can the worker's skills be transferred to other jobs that exist in the economy?

The judge uses the Vocational Expert's testimony to decide if you can still work and whether or not you are disabled. If the VE believes working is not feasible, there's a good chance your Disability claim will be approved. If the Vocational expert testifies that the hypothetical worker can do other jobs, he or she then must list what those jobs are and the availability of such work in your area, region and the national economy.

After the Vocational Expert gives their opinion, you or your attorney will have an opportunity to question the VE about their opinions. Cross-examining a Vocational Expert requires preparation, skill and experience. To avoid losing your Disability hearing based on the testimony of a Vocational Expert, you should strongly consider hiring an Betz and Baril if you haven't done so already.

Betz and Baril have represented thousands of clients during Disability hearings and are skilled at cross-examining and challenging Vocational Experts. We would love to represent you and it we will fight to get you your benefits.


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Betz and Baril are attorneys dedicated to providing you with the best legal services possible. We understand that your situation may be tough, but that is why you need a team like ours, who truly care about helping you to receive the compensation you deserve, so you can get back to living your life. You shouldn’t have to suffer from injuries due to someone else’s negligence. If you’ve been injured from faulty medical devices, faulty medicine, or you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident, we are here to help. Schedule a FREE Consultation

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