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What is a vocational expert?

In the video below Sharon Christie, a social security disability benefits lawyer, answers the question, what is a vocational expert?  If you or someone you know is looking to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits contact Sharon Christie Law today. We are a social security disability benefits law firm dedicated to getting you the benefits you deserve.

Official Transcript: What is a vocational expert?


Hi, I’m Sharon Christie your nurse attorney for Social Security disability benefits. If you have a hearing scheduled for your disability case you may have noticed that a vocational expert will also be testifying in your case. Now your probably wondering what is a vocational expert? Well, that’s someone who has been trained in vocational rehabilitation which means they have special training in what it takes to help people to get retrained and to get back into the workforce.
A vocational expert does not come to your hearing with his or her own personal opinion about whether you can return to work. In fact the vocational expert does not have access to your medical records that are in your file. The vocational expert only has access to the vocational information. That is the information about your work history. The vocational expert is at the hearing to do basically two things. To testify about the exertion levels required in your past work. Did you do heavy work? Did you do light work? Did you do medium work? Did you do sedentary work? And then the vocational expert is there to answer hypothetical questions posed first by the judge and then by your lawyer.
These questions are always about someone who is the same age, education and has the same work history as you. So the questions really are about you but they’re not phrased that way. They’re phrased as hypothetical questions and first, the judge gets to ask questions about certain types of limitations that are reflected in your records and how that would affect someone’s ability to work. When the judge is finished then your lawyer will have an opportunity to ask additional questions and the vocational expert will respond by saying whether those limitations would prevent a person from doing your past job. Then the vocational expert will talk about whether there are any other jobs in the national economy that a person could do with your limitations. So that gives you an idea of what will happen when you’re into your hearing why the vocational expert is there.

The Path to Social Security Disability Benefits with Sharon Christie Law

Step 1: Understanding Social Security’s Definition of Disabled

The definition of disabled, according to Social Security, is that you have severe limitations from your health problems that keep you from doing any kind of work for at least 12 consecutive months. This is the first thing we look at when evaluating your case. Your diagnosis is just the starting point. To get disability benefits for you, we must prove that your disabling condition causes severe limitations in your day to day activities.

Step 2: Medical Records in Your Disability Case

You must have medical evidence to prove your disability case. The most important evidence is your medical records that show your diagnosis, your symptoms, and your response to treatment.

Step 3: Don’t go it alone: How Sharon Christie Law Can Help You

At Sharon Christie Law, we recognize that no one ever plans to get so sick that they have to stop working. When you need to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits we recognize that you will be anxious about the process and whether you can qualify for disability benefits. Our goal at Sharon Christie Law is to help you win your case and give you the financial stability you need! Why work with us?

We do it all for you: At Sharon Christie Law we handle all aspects of the case for you, from preparing and filing your application through the hearing with a judge. We are with you every step of the way.  When working with us, you focus on feeling better, and we focus on winning your case.

We return your phone calls: We understand that you have many questions regarding Social Security Disability Benefits. We never want you to wonder what is happening with your case. We are here to answer your questions. All phone calls and emails are returned within 24 hours. That is our promise to you.

We believe in client education: The Social Security Disability process is confusing. We think it is important that you understand each step in the process. So, we created a section on our website that is accessible only to clients. This client’s only section tells you everything you need to know about the disability process.