Q: The vocational expert at my Social Security disability hearing testified that I could be a pre-school aide, even though I know absolutely nothing about working with kids, and I can't lift heavy weights. My application was denied. What should I do?
Well, it's too late now, but what you should have done was retain the services of an experienced attorney during your initial Social Security disability hearing. The “vocational experts” hired by the government are notorious for saying exactly what the examiner assigned to your case wants to hear—that you are not too disabled to hold some kind of job, even if it's not one in your previous line of work. For example, if you used to be employed in the food service industry, your “vocational expert” may agree that food service is out of the question—but your local preschools beckon as a welcoming job opportunity, whether those preschools are hiring or not and whether or not you have any background in child care.
What you need to do is file an appeal of your denial—a common-enough process, given that more than half of all Social Security disability applications are rejected on the first go-round. And at your appeal hearing, you need to have a lawyer at your side who can rebut the testimony of the “vocational expert,” who will once again claim that you are capable of holding a specific kind of job. Are these jobs even available in your area? Has that “expert” carefully inspected your medical file? Is there even a slim hope of you ever obtaining employment in this field, given your work history? These are the kinds of questions your lawyer can ask, and they can mean the difference between a second rejection and being accepted onto the disability rolls. Want to know more? Contact the northern California Social Security disability experts at the Ledgerwood Law Group (888-761-7383) for a free consultation today!