Medical experts play a very specific role in Social Security disability hearings. They are neutral medical professionals who review the applicant’s medical records prior to the hearing. The purpose of a medical expert’s testimony at a Social Security disability hearing is to provide an opinion about the severity of the applicant’s medical conditions and their limitations. The judge will generally start off asking the medical expert whether the impairment meets or equals one of the medical listings. The listings are a group of illnesses that the Social Security Administration will approve disability for as long as the all the requirements of the listing are met. If a medical expert testifies that the applicant’s conditions does meet a listing’s requirement, it is likely (not 100% guaranteed) that the hearing will be decided in favor of the applicant. Additionally, the judge may ask the medical expert to give their opinion as to an applicant’s physical or mental limitations. The judge may also ask them to help establish an applicant’s onset date of disability.
Overall, a medical expert plays a significant role in a social security disability hearing and can give their expertise or opinion in regard to the applicant’s severe impairments, work limitations, and onset dates of disability.