Using The Grid Rules for Workers Age 50 to 54

If you are an applicant for disability between the ages of 50 and 54 who can’t perform your prior job and your condition doesn’t meet an impairment listing, the Social Security Administration will refer to the “grid rules” (see below) to determine if you’re disabled. An experienced disability attorney may help assist an applicant for disability benefits understand these complex regulations.

The grid rules are a group of tables that consider several factors to determine whether or not an applicant is “disabled.” However, the determination of the grid rules is not the only way eligibility for benefits may be determined. Even if the grid projects a finding of “not disabled,” it is possible the SSA may still approve you for benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) decides a case for people between the age of 50 and 54 based upon the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. To find your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) level,  the SSA will assess your physical abilities in spite of your health problems, which by the way is the most you can still do despite your limitations.  This is described as an “RFC.”   The RFC’s can be categorized as sedentary, light, medium, or heavy/very heavy work.  The GRID tables are specifically arranged by these exertional categories.  So, first find your RFC, then find the row that describes your level of education and prior work experience (transferrable job skills??).  Finally, the SSA will make the decision based on the third column (which is found depending on your information as to education and job skills).

RFC for SEDENTARY WORK

Education Skill Level Decision
Completed 11 grade or less Unskilled work or no work Disabled
Completed 11 grade or less Skilled or semiskilled work but skills are not transferable Disabled
Completed 11 grade or less Skilled or semiskilled work with transferable skills Not disabled
High school graduate (or GED) or higher Unskilled work or no work Disabled
High school graduate (or GED) or higher Skilled or semiskilled work but skills not transferable Disabled
High school graduate (or GED) or higher Skilled or semiskilled work with transferable skills Not disabled
Recent education that provides for direct entry into skilled work (high school graduate or more) Unskilled work or no work Not disabled
Recent education that provides for direct entry into skilled work (high school graduate or higher) Skilled or semiskilled work, whether skills are transferable or not Not disabled

 

RFC for LIGHT WORK

Education Skill Level Decision
Illiterate or unable to communicate in English Unskilled work or no work Disabled
Completed 11 grade or less Unskilled work or no work Not disabled
Completed 11 grade or less Skilled or semiskilled work but skills not transferable Not disabled
Completed 11 grade or less Skilled or semiskilled work with transferable skills Not disabled
High school graduate or higher Unskilled work or no work Not disabled
High school graduate or higher Skilled or semiskilled work but skills not transferable Not disabled
High school graduate or higher Skilled or semiskilled with transferable skills Not disabled

 

RFC for MEDIUM WORK

Education Skill Level Decision
Completed 11 grade or less Unskilled work or no work Not disabled
Completed 11 grade or less Skilled or semiskilled work but skills not transferable Not disabled
Completed 11 grade or less Skilled or semiskilled work with transferable skills Not disabled
High school graduate or higher Unskilled work or no work Not disabled
High school graduate or higher Skilled or semiskilled work but skills not transferable Not disabled
High school graduate or higher Skilled or semiskilled work with transferable skills Not disabled
Recent education that provides for direct entry into skilled work (high school graduate or higher) Skilled or semiskilled work whether or not skills are transferable Not disabled

RFC for HEAVY WORK

If between the ages of 50 and 54 and your RFC is for heavy work or very heavy work (which is a nice way of saying there is not much physically wrong with you), it will be difficult to win your claim solely based on a physical impairment. Because you have the capacity to do heavy work, the SSA will conclude that you can also perform medium and light work, which leaves a sufficient number of jobs for you to find work.

However, if you can prove that you have certain non-exertional impairments that affect your ability to work, the SSA may still approve your claim. An example of a non-exertional impairment would be blindness in one eye, deaf in one ear, depression to the point that you cannot deal with the public, asthma so bad you need a clean air environment….  The mere presence of a non-exertional impairment precludes the application of the GRID!  As you can imagine, as you pile on non-exertional problems, your restrictions grow as well.  At some point, there are just too many issues to permit you to sustain competitive work.  In my own practice, it is usually the combination of impairments that wins cases.

All applicants for disability benefits must understand all of the terminology associated with the grid rules and applying for disability benefits. Retain the services of an experienced, knowledgeable, and qualified Social Security Disability attorney. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so there is absolutely nothing to lose! Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online today!Using The Grid Rules for Workers Age 50 to 54

2016-12-23T19:10:37+00:00