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The Role of Vocational Experts in a Disability Hearing

A vocational expert (VE) is essentially a witness who can be called upon by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to testify at a disability appeal hearing. VEs are typically present at most disability hearings and must give their qualified opinion about a claimant’s ability to work.

At a hearing, the judge and your legal counsel will ask you questions about your medical and work history. The vocational expert will then assess each of your relevant prior jobs, decide whether you are able to perform your past job duties, and, if not, determine what transferable skills you have.

Your attorney and the judge may ask the VE hypothetical questions based on a hypothetical individual of the same age, education, and past relevant work experience with very specific exertional and non-exertional vocational limitations. VEs cannot form opinions about medical evidence. However, if the vocational expert still believes you are able to perform the work, your disability claim will likely be denied by the presiding judge.

Legal Updates

On October 29th, 2019, the SSA amended the Vocational Expert Consulting Services to include additional qualifications for serving as a vocational expert. All VEs must meet and maintain the following requirements:

  • At least five years of direct experience providing vocational rehabilitation to those with disabilities
  • Current national certification as either a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC), or National certification as a Fellow or Diplomate by the American Board of Vocational Experts (ABVE)
  • Meet the continuing education requirements of their national certifications from either the CRCC or ABVE

All new vocational experts must submit documentation of their CRCC or ABVE certification at least 30 days before providing and VE services. They may so do by either testifying at a hearing or by submitting a response to written interrogatories.

If you have any questions about the role a vocational expert plays in a disability hearing or how their testimony can affect your case, do not hesitate to contact our office today.

The Khaki Law Firm
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There are many Social Security disability law firms throughout Georgia. What sets The Khaki Law Firm apart from the rest? Why should you choose us? We are honored to represent those who have worked hard most of their lives, but due to a mental or physical impairment are no longer able to maintain employment and earn an income.

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    Have you had to stop working due to a physical and/or mental disability?YesNo

    Have you seen a medical professional in the past 6 months for your disability?YesNo

    Have you been advised by your medical professional that you are unable to work and need to file for disability?YesNo

    Have you made an application for social security disability and/or had a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge?YesNo

    Are you currently or have you in the past received any benefits from the Social Security Administration?YesNo

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    With offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta, we provide legal assistance to people throughout Georgia and the Southeast in all matters of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    We are ready to help you, and offer multiple ways to reach us.