Disability Lawyers in ChicagoOne of the aspects of SSD that our disability lawyers in Chicago must often deal with is testimony from a Vocational Expert (VE) or Medical Expert (ME). Knowing how the testimony of these experts are used is important because their statements can often sway a case significantly one way or the other.

Role of a VE

The role of a vocational expert is actually to be a neutral voice that helps the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presiding over your case make an informed decision. In fact, most vocational experts will provide an ALJ with a reason to deny your claim as well as a reason to approve it. In some cases, a vocational expert may also challenge what he or she deems to be a preconceived notion concerning a claim. When this happens, it could dramatically affect the outcome.

SSA Expectations

The work of vocational experts is made even more difficult by the stringent requirements that have been set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA). For example, the administration expects them to be extremely familiar with information contained in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. The problem with that is that most vocational experts stopped using this publication long ago because the information in it is no longer accurate. A VE may also be asked to provide information as to how many jobs are available for people with your particular limitations, which is information that would be arbitrary at best.

Effects of Medical Experts

Medical experts are far less likely to testify than vocational experts, as fewer than 20 percent of all cases require an ME. As with vocational experts, medical experts also have the ability to sway cases dramatically. If a medical expert’s testimony shows your disability meets the requirements found in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments, your claim will likely be approved. Should the testimony reflect differently, the goal of disability lawyers in Chicago will be to punch holes in that person’s testimony during a rigorous cross examination.

Cross Examination Is Key

During cross examination, disability lawyers Chicago will carefully ask questions in an effort to draw a line between someone who is disabled and another person who is not. Of course, the end goal will be to ensure you are shown to be on the side of one who is disabled. This requires a certain set of skills and experience if an attorney is to do this successfully. While a medical background is not always necessary, it is nonetheless important to choose an attorney who has extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the Social Security Administration if you are to be successful.

Disposition of a Case

A disability hearing is much like a court hearing in that both sides present evidence and then each one has the opportunity to cross examine the other. After testimony is complete, an ALJ may render an oral bench decision immediately by briefly stating the facts and how they apply to the law. If an immediate decision is made, you will receive a written summary of that decision by mail within a few days.

Signs of an Approval

There may be some indication that an ALJ plans to approve your claim, even if he or she does not expressly say so. This normally happens whenever an ALJ stops a VE or ME in the middle of testimony because it has become overly obvious that a claim meets the requirements as stated in the Listing of Impairments.

Working with Disability Lawyers in Chicago

More often than not, the ALJ will take some time to make his or her decision. It may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for the ALJ to either approve or deny your claim. In either instance, your attorney will be provided with a written decision, which will fully outline the reasons for it. If your claim is denied, a timeline for an appeal may be included as well.

Call Disability Lawyers Chicago Residents Can Count On

For help getting through VE or ME testimony, contact our knowledgeable disability lawyers.