Woodbridge, VA asked in Social Security for Virginia

Q: When the vocational expert at the alj hearing says you cant work on a full time basis, does that mean you are disabled?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Susan Michele Schaefer
Susan Michele Schaefer
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Prattville, AL

A: A vocational expert (VE) plays a significant role in a Social Security disability hearing. A VE is an expert witness who knows about job requirements and job availability in the current labor market. At the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the VE will give his expert opinion in response to hypothetical questions the ALJ asks. Since most ALJs ask for VE expertise on several hypothetical questions, the claimant will not know which hypothetical the ALJ will use when he makes a decision about disability. The VE opinion will be weighed by the ALJ along with other evidence in the case. For the ALJ to find that the claimant is disabled, he or she must meet the definition of disability. The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. The monthly SGA amount for 2020 is $1260 for those who are not blind. You should wait until you get the ALJ decision to find out if you have been approved for disability or not.

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