Disability Hearing “Experts” – Who Are They and What Do They Do?

Most disability hearings have testifying experts. These experts may appear in person, or may testify over the phone.

Vocational Experts

The most common expert present at most hearings is a "Vocational Expert." This expert will testify about whether individuals with particular medical restrictions can perform certain jobs in the national economy. Remember, the purpose of the disability process is to prove that there are no jobs that exist that you can perform. A Vocational Expert testifies about the existence of those jobs.

You will hear the Judge (and your attorney) give "hypothetical" questions to the expert to determine what types of jobs exist that a "hypothetical" person with certain limitations can perform. It will be your attorney's job to cross-examine the expert, and to pose additional hypotheticals. Because this testimony is highly technical, we highly recommend that you go to the hearing with a qualified attorney who can effectively question the expert.

Medical Experts

Some Judges call medical experts to hearings as well. These experts will review your medical file and give an opinion on any physical or mental restrictions they would place given your conditions. The expert may also ask you questions to further clarify your treatment or symptoms.

Again, your attorney is responsible for cross-examining these experts to ensure that their testimony is as helpful as possible.


Expert testimony is an important part of your disability hearing. The testimony given has a direct impact on whether your case will be approved or denied. A qualified attorney can help cross-examine these experts effectively and use their testimony to get your case approved.

If you have a hearing scheduled, please don't hesitate to call (818) 502-1951 to set up your free consultation.

For more information about the social security disability process, or to receive a

FREE evaluation, contact RCM Disability at 818-502-1951 or email us at info@rcmdisability.com.

RCM Disability is associated with RCM Legal, a law firm in Southern California committed to passionately fighting for justice. RCM specializes in personal injury, product liability, social security disability, workplace sexual harassment, and unlawful firing / wrongful termination.

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