What the ALJ Might Ask the Vocational Expert
Serving the Western United States
A knowledgeable social security claim attorney can help you during your social security disability hearing and questioning. During your social security claim hearing, a vocational expert (VE) might be called as a witness to testify as to whether there are jobs you can perform with specific physical or mental limitations.
The following is the official list of suggested questions for ALJs to use when questioning a vocational expert. This list will help you prepare your own questions for the VE.
- Please state your full name and address
- Is the attached curriculum vitae a correct summary of your professional qualifications?
- Are you aware that your responses to these interrogatories are sought from you in the role of an impartial vocational expert?
- Has there been any prior communication between the Administrative Law Judge and you regarding the merits of this case?
- Has there been any prior professional contact between you and the claimant?
- Have you read the evidence pertaining to the claimant which we furnished you?
- Is there sufficient objective evidence of record to allow you to form an opinion on the claimant’s vocational status? If not, what additional evidence is required?
- Please state the following
- Claimant’s age, in terms of the applicable age category as described in 40.1563 and 416.963 of federal regulations, (See chapter 8 and 9.)
- Claimant’s education, in terms of the applicable education category as described in sections 404.1564 and 416.964 of federal regulations. (See chapter 8 and 9.)
- Claimants past relevant work (PRW); i.e., the claimant’s work experience during the last 15 years, in terms of the physical exertion and skill requirements describes in sections 404.1567, 404.1568, 416.967 and 416.968 of federal regulations, and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. (See Chapters 8 and 9.)
- The extent that any job during the last 15 years required lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, sitting, standing, walking, climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, handling, fingering, feeling, talking, hearing and seeing, as well as any environmental or similar aspects of the job (indoors, outdoors, extremes of heat or cold, wetness, noise, vibration and exposure to fumes, odors or toxic conditions.) (See Chapters 8 and 9._)
- If the claimant’s PRW was either at a skilled or semiskilled level, describe the performance of the job(s) and furnish a complete explanation for your opinion(s).
- Hypothetical Questions:
- Assume that I find the claimant testimony credible, that because of his impairment he can only sit for up to three hours, stand and/or walk for no more than three hours before experiencing severe pain, and life no more than ten pounds, and that he must lie down for at least two hours in any eight-hour period to relieve the pain. If I accept this description of his limitation, could the claimant, considering his age, education and his work experience, engage in his past relevant work? Or, if not, could he transfer acquired skills to the performance of other skilled or semiskilled work?
- Assume that I find that claimant can sit for up to three hours at a time, stand and/or walk for no more than three hours, and lift up to ten pounds,. Can he engage in his past work? If not, can he transfer any skills to perform other skilled or semiskilled work?
- Assume that I find the claimant can stand and walk for approximately six hours and lift no more than 20 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to ten pounds. Can he engage in his past work, or if not, can he transfer his skills to perform other skilled or semiskilled work?
- If the claimant can transfer his skills to perform other skilled or semiskilled work, please provide some examples of these jobs and the frequency with which they are found in the national economy.
If you or a loved one is going in for a social security hearing, please contact social security claim attorney Fred J. Fleming today!