How Your Disability Attorney Will Cross-Examine the Vocational Expert

Posted on July 3, 2012 by cjblog

It is crucial to have an experienced Ocala disability attorney at your side if your judge decides to have a vocational expert testify at your hearing.  Your Ocala disability attorney will be responsible for cross-examining the vocational expert and making sure that there is a legitimate basis for the expert’s testimony.  You may think that you can handle cross-examining the expert yourself but it is a task best left to your attorney as it requires a significant knowledge of Social Security law, medical issues, and vocational issues.  Unsurprisingly, the ability to effectively cross-examine a vocational expert is something that is developed through years of practice.

Why Your Attorney Will Cross-Examine

It is important to have an experienced Ocala disability attorney cross-examining the vocational expert at your hearing because often, vocational experts are expected to provide testimony about things that are at the very edge of their expertise.  For example, the Social Security Administration expects vocational experts to have expertise with something called the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles.”  However, most vocational experts no longer use this book in their regular jobs because it is outdated.  Social Security also expects vocational experts to be able to testify about how many jobs exist in the economy for people with certain limitations.  What Social Security sometimes does not realize is that most vocational experts do not do this type of analysis in their regular jobs.  This type of analysis involves a lot of guess work.  Your attorney’s cross-examination can bring these important details to light.

Testifying Is Not the Main Part of an Expert's Job

Unfortunately for many claimants, a vocational expert’s expertise lies in placing people with physical and mental limitations in appropriate jobs.  This is not something that is very applicable to what is required of them at a disability hearing.  Vocational experts’ typical job duties require them to actually encourage employers to accommodate employees with disabilities.  This sort of thing is not relevant to the disability determination process because Social Security is more concerned with how particular jobs are ordinarily performed in the economy and not with whether an employer will accommodate someone with a disability.

If you have further questions about vocational experts or need help with your Social Security disability case, contact Ocala disability attorney CJ Henry.  Your initial consultation is free.

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