What Is A Vocational Expert And Why Are They Important For Your Social Security Disability Case? – Guest Post


You may be perplexed by the entire procedure if you are in the process of filing for disability payments. Like most federal government organizations, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a plethora of rules, regulations, and acronyms. Learning more about the system might assist you as you progress from the first application to the ultimate decision on your request.


After an initial request, around 28% of applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments are accepted. However, if a claimant’s original application is refused, they may make a request for reconsideration.


If this request is similarly refused, the claimant may seek a Social Security Disability hearings; at this point, a vocational expert may be called in.


Many, but not all, sessions before the SSA are attended by vocational experts. These Social Security Disability Vocational Expert play a critical role in the hearing, assisting the administrative law judge (ALJ) in reaching a final judgment on a claimant’s case


What Exactly Is a Vocational Expert?


A vocational expert is an SSA-certified expert witness. They are not lawyers. Despite the fact that the SSA pays them, they are regarded as unbiased and do not favor either party at the hearing.


A vocational expert offers opinion evidence that an ALJ will consider when rendering a disability judgment at an appeals hearing. During a trial, they do not communicate with claimants or challenge them.


Vocational experts often hold a bachelor’s degree and have extensive skills in the area of vocational rehabilitation. They are competent to offer evidence-based on the following criteria:


  • Understanding and expertise with current industry and occupational trends, as well as local labor market circumstances;
  • An understanding of how the Social Security Administration evaluates whether a claimant is disabled;
  • Participation in or knowledge of vocational counseling and job placement for adult employees with impairments;
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with officially approved vocational reference sources.
  • In general, vocational specialists have knowledge and expertise in the areas of vocational rehabilitation, occupational and financial capacity, the cost of replacement labor, lost earnings and lost capability and time in performing household services.


A Vocational Expert’s Role in a Disability Benefits Hearing


In situations when a refusal of disability payments has been challenged, a vocational expert is brought in. An Administrative Law Judge will generally summon a vocational expert to testify regarding whether a claimant can do their previous or other employment. Before the hearing, the specialist will provide the case exhibits and go over the claimant’s previous employment history.


During a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will examine a vocational expert, and the applicant and their agent will have the chance to question the expert as well.


The Administrative Law Judge will then add different constraints, such as the inability to sit or stand for an extended amount of time and ask the expert whether the individual could still accomplish their previous relevant employment.


The Social Security Disability Vocational Expert will determine whether the hypothetical individual is capable of performing the prior employment as stated by the Administrative Law Judge. If the hypothetical person is unable to do the previous work, the expert will examine whether there are any alternative occupations that they might undertake.


The objective of an applicant’s attorney questioning the vocational expert will try to get the specialist to rule out these alternative occupations.




Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is a top provider of vocational experts. In New York and New Jersey, we have been engaged in historic instances using vocational experts.


We are firm believers in the significance of presenting data in a straightforward and intelligible manner. The OAS is the largest provider of vocational expert services.


OAS is a leading provider of Vocational Expert and Life Care Planning Services throughout the country.


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