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Why Did the Expert Say I Can Work?

By Stacey Laskin, an Advocate from the Chicago Binder & Binder® office 

A vocational expert testifies at many hearings. This person's job is to be an expert on doing jobs. Some of them provide vocational counseling or rehabilitation outside of the hearing room. Others are professors who study the social science of employment.

They usually will classify your past work according to the standards used by Social Security. Then, the judge and your representative will pose hypothetical limitations based on your medical records, your doctors' opinions, findings made by Social Security adjudicators, and your testimony. Some of these descriptions might include a hypothetical healthy you, a hypothetical you at a point when you were more able than you are now, or a hypothetical you based on one particular doctor's findings. 

It's important not to take any one part of the expert's testimony too seriously. I will have the opportunity to address all of the expert's responses afterward. The judge also has the option of paying little attention to the testimony. Any questions you have about what the expert said can be addressed after the hearing--don't interrupt the expert during his or her testimony!


1 Comment

Thank you Stacey for all of your help and for putting me at ease. I wish there were words to describe how grateful I am for you and your company.

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