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What Social Security Applicants Should Know About the Vocational Expert

Have you been turned down for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits? If so, join the club. This is not a club anyone wants to belong to but many, many applicants end up being turned down just like you did. Now, for the good news. Each SSDI applicant is eligible for an appeal hearing and, at this hearing, many end up being approved for benefits. You can see that the appeal hearing can be very important but you must also be prepared for it or you won't be successful. Read on for some tips on the hearing and more particularity, on a person who could make or break your efforts, the vocational expert (VE).

People at the Appeal Hearing

Smart Social Security applicants have an attorney with them at the appeal. This meeting is not just a discussion of complex medical and job issues, it can also be a nerve-wracking experience for most. An attorney can help you prepare for the case and stand by you during the appeal hearing. Most appeal hearings are overseen by an administrative law judge (ALJ) who works for the Social Security Administration (SSA). Finally, the VE is present at the side of the ALJ.

The Appeal Hearing: What Happens

Each hearing is unique and based on the reason why the application was turned down. Often, the denial is due to the applicant's failure to provide enough proof of a medical or mental condition. Also, applicants are sometimes unable to draw a direct link between their condition and the inability to perform job tasks. That is sometimes where the VE comes in. They have information about jobs and job tasks that the applicant might be able to still perform. Your lawyer's job is to present contrary information about your ability to work at your old job or any new job.

The Role of the VE

Make no mistake about it, the VE is a neutral party. That is why it's so important to have an attorney with you. When the ALJ consults with the VE on a question, your lawyer has a right to challenge the opinion of the VE. The VE provides input into the local job market, wages, and job responsibilities. It's important to understand that the VE is not always right or qualified to provide the facts.

You can benefit from professional legal support. Speak to an attorney about your case without delay.