What role does a Vocational Expert play during step 5 of the sequential
evaluation process? First, a vocational expert cannot be used to defeat
the medical-vocational guidelines. The Medical-Vocational Guidelines is
a lengthy document that is comprised of a general rule and 82 separate
rules. The purpose of these guidelines is to administratively reflect
the SSA's analysis of the impact of the medical factor of disability
(and RFC) in combination of the statutory vocational factors of disability
-- age, education, and previous work experience to determine an individual's
ability to adjust to other work.
The medical-vocational guidelines allow the Administrative Law Judge to
take notice of the claimant's work load (sedentary, light, medium,
heavy, or very heavy exertional RFC) and the claimant's age, education,
and work experience and determine whether the claimant can make a vocational
adjustment to work that exists in significant numbers in the national
economy. Sometimes, based on the claimant's age, work experience,
training, and residual functional capacity the grid will determine that
someone is disabled. A vocational expert's testimony cannot overcome
the finding of disability based on the grid rules. Other times, the grid
will determine that they are not disabled and can transfer work skills.
If you believe you are
disabled and should be receiving Social Security Disability Benefits,
Dallas Social Security Disability Attorney today.