What does Vocational Expert mean?
A vocational expert is a professional who may be invited to participate in the administrative hearing if requested by an administrative law judge. Their job is to review the SSDI and SSI claim and give testimony at the hearing regarding the claimant's ability to perform any type of work.
Specifically, the vocational expert will identify jobs which they believe are available to the claimant and whether or not the claimant's condition and common workplace limitations will impact their ability to obtain and perform such jobs.
The two most important factors which are evaluated by the medical expert are whether or not the claimant can perform any of the jobs they have had in the past 15 years or if the claimant can transfer their skills to another job in the national economy. The answers to these questions will be crucial to the outcome of the disability applicant's case.
Whether or not you will win benefits can hinge on the vocational expert's testimony. If, for instance, they make a good argument that you can perform previous work or retrain for work you may be denied benefits, unless your lawyer can make a great counter claim and refute their testimony. This is one more reason it is so important to discuss your case with a disability lawyer and hire a lawyer prior to your SSDI or SSI hearing.