TRR SSD Understanding The SSD Process
Claudia: Hi, Krystal. So many social security disability clients have wondered whether there are still hearings now with COVID.
Krystal: So, yes, we are still doing hearings, although they are remote. Previously or traditionally, the hearings were held in a courtroom, but now they are being held over the phone telephonically. Hopefully, down the line, Social Security is working on video conferences using Microsoft Teams.
Claudia: Oh, that sounds great. And what’s the hearing typically like?
Krystal: Typically, the hearing will start with a court clerk giving a call to the claimant representative, to the claimant medical expert if needed, a vocational expert, and the administrative law judge.
Claudia: And typically, how is the hearing conducted? What goes on at a hearing?
Krystal: So, once the clerk has us all on this recorded line, the judge typically will start with questions about daily activities of the claimant to figure out what limitations the claimant has. Thereafter, the claimant’s representative can ask the claimant questions with regard to daily activities. The questions are similar to daily expectant questions. How long can you sit? How long can you stand? Who does chores around the house? Who cooks? Who cleans? Laundry? To try to figure out what the limitations are.
Claudia: And you mention a vocational expert. What is that?
Krystal: A vocational expert, in simple terms, is an expert in jobs. So, a vocational expert will form an impartial opinion as to whether a claimant can do their past work or any other work.
Claudia: And do you also mention a medical expert?
Krystal: Yes. A medical expert is not always on every case for a hearing. They are contracted by Social Security Administration and they form an opinion as to the limitations of the claimant and the disabilities the claimant may have.
Claudia: Would the medical expert examine the claimant?
Krystal: No. The medical expert makes their impartial opinion based off medical records.
Claudia: Well, thank you so much.