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Why does an administrative judge request a review by a vocational expert of the jobs from a claimant’s work record?

It means that the administrative law judge (ALJ) is considering whether or not you can return to your past relevant work at step 4 of Social Security’s sequential evaluation process. After the vocational expert (VE) characterizes your past jobs, the judge will ask the VE whether or not a person with your limitations could return to any of those previous jobs. If the VE answers yes, you have probably just lost your disability claim.

If the VE answers no, the judge will then proceed to step 5 of the sequential evaluation process. The judge may then ask the VE if there are other jobs available to a person with your impairments. Hopefully the answer to this question is also no.

Vocational expert testimony can be complicated, and it often a determines whether or not your claim for diability benefits is is granted. Please do not attend a disability hearing without a Social Security disability attorney.