Thursday, March 24, 2016

Vocational Expert

A vocational expert (“VE”) at a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) hearing is supposed to testify about the functional demands of occupations, the number of various occupations, and transferability of work skills. Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) frequently use VEs to create evidence to deny SSD claims.

I represent a former sewer supervisor in connection with his NYSLERS and SSD claims. I had arranged for him to obtain a comprehensive vocational evaluation for his NYSLERS claim, which I also submitted for his SSD claim. The VE happens to be certified as an expert by the Social Security Administration. 

The ALJ scheduled a VE to testify at the claimant’s SSD hearing. I submitted a brief that objected to a VE testifying because the ALJ already had detailed report from a VE certified by the SSA as an expert, and that any question the ALJ had could be addressed to the VE. I maintained that scheduling another VE to testify was patently unnecessary, and gave the appearance of expert shopping. 

The hearing was held without a VE, and the case was approved.

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