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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Vocational Expert testimony

  • Published: December 21, 2012

A Government Vocational Expert, or VE, may play a large role in your Social Security Disability case and its level of success. Speak with experienced Ocala disability lawyers who can help you prepare for the issues that might arise in your case when a VE is asked to testify.

What is a VE?

In a Social Security disability case, the purpose of vocational expert testimony is for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to meet their burden of proof if they wish to deny you Social Security benefits. The SSA may then bring in a Vocational Expert, who is there to testify as to whether you are capable of performing work or if you are clearly eligible for benefits. VEs are there to enforce the Social Security Act and utilize any relevant information from the Medical-Vocational Guidelines.  Ultimately they will be a deciding factor in whether or not is it determined that you are capable of performing “substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy … in large numbers” despite physical or mental impairment(s).

The VE’s alliances

When a VE is scheduled to testify, he or she has likely been chosen by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  The ALJ will not always do so out of personal motivation, but because they have already considered the hearing exhibits and decided that a VE should be brought in to testify that you are unable to perform past work. In this case, your benefits are not subject to approval or disapproval based on information found in the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, which may be explained to you by your Ocala disability lawyers.

Human bias

While you might have the chance to appoint your own VE or obtain his or her recorded opinion, usually your Ocala disability lawyers will be unhappy to hear that the judge has made that choice for you. Although your case does hinge on medical analysis, VEs are seen in disability courts more often than medical experts. VEs can provide a broad spectrum of experience, but also operate under their own prejudices, and they are not as qualified to assess your condition as a medical expert would be.

To hear more about how a vocational expert may affect your benefits, contact Ocala disability lawyers at the CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC at (352) 304-5300.

Claudeth Henry

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