Can You Still Work? The Vocational Expert Weighs In At Your Appeal Hearing
Once you are denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, your next step should be to request an appeal hearing. It's important to know that nearly everyone that applies for SSDI gets turned down at first. Read on to find out more about the appeal hearing and how you can challenge the expert.
Appealing an Adversary Ruling
When your benefits get denied, don't give up. Focus instead on the reason for the denial. Often, things can be rectified and an appeal hearing is your opportunity to come face to face with a hearing officer. Along with the administrative law judge at the hearing, you will find an expert in jobs and job skills. You must understand the role of the vocational expert (VE) and what to expect. The VE is employed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to be a neutral authority on jobs. Unfortunately, these experts are not trained in medical issues. That could mean problems if you are not ready to challenge their opinion.
Your Ability to Work
While applicants can be turned down for benefits for many reasons, one of the main factors is connected to medical issues. In some cases, your medical condition status doesn't qualify as being severe enough for benefits. In other cases, your medical condition does qualify but it's determined that you might be able to work at other jobs. That is where the VE comes in. They may provide advice to the administrative judge at the appeal that suggests you should be able to perform other work. For example, if you are unable to stand due to a medical condition, the VE may recommend to the judge that you can work at a desk job.
Combating Bad VE Advice
Don't try to go to an appeal hearing alone. You are entitled to representation by a Social Security lawyer and it's highly advisable to do so. Lawyers understand how things work with the SSDI system and how to challenge the VE during the hearing. They might do this by demonstrating that your medical condition makes it impossible for you to perform both standing and sitting work. Another issue is the availability of work. How would you like to be told that you can find other work to do in your area and then find out that no such work exists? That is where a Social Security lawyer comes in. They'll argue that jobs don't exist and that you are unable to work at any job.
Get help with your appeal and dealing with the VE. Speak to a Social Security lawyer about your case right away. A lawyer can provide additional information.