WIN DISABILITY BENEFITS WITH THE GRIDS
One very effective method of winning your disability claim is to utilize the Medical Vocational Guidelines. The Medical Vocational Guidelines are often referred to as “The Grids” By Social Security Judges and lawyers and are often used for disability determinations involving Claimant’s 50 years old and older. You can find the Medical Vocational Guidelines in the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2.
The Social Security Administration recognizes that there are certain factors in addition to your mental and/or medical conditions that affect your ability to work. Factors affecting your ability to perform certain jobs include age, education, functional capacity, skill level, and transferability of work skills. The older we become, the more difficult it is to find, learn, and perform new jobs. Our lack of higher education can prevent us from performing certain types of work. Skills that we may have developed in prior jobs may not be transferable to new jobs. Our exertional and strength levels may preclude us from performing anything more than very light work. These factors which limit our ability to perform various types of work become more pronounced as we grow older. Attempting to work in certain capacities may do us more harm than good with regard to our physical and/or mental health at an older age. Consequently, in its wisdom, the Social Security Administration uses a set of Grids that take these factors into consideration. The Grids relax the disability standards and make it easier for older Claimant’s to win their disability claims so that they do not have to further jeopardize their health.
It is easy to understand the Grids if you think of them as a chart. (See Medical Vocational Guidelines, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2) You simply plug your information regarding your age, education, skill level, residual functional capacity, and transferability of skills into the Grids and the Grids dictate “disabled” or “not disabled”. The Grids cannot be used for all claims, however. For example, the Grids cannot be used to deny claims involving disability based in whole or in part upon mental disorders.
The Grids can be a great tool to help you win your disability claim as they serve to simplify the decision-making process for the decision-maker. Although the Grids can be utilized at any time during the decision-making process from application to hearing, ironically, they are sometimes overlooked by SSA and, therefore, SSA sometimes needs to be reminded as to how proper application of the Grids should result in a favorable decision to you.
Whether you are disabled pursuant to the Grids usually depends upon whether you have the Residual Functional Capacity for sedentary, light, medium, heavy, or very heavy work. It is helpful to obtain opinions from your doctors in that regard to assist the decision-maker in assessing your proper Residual Functional Capacity.
Use of the Grids to win your disability claim is a subject you should discuss with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer. Call Social Security Professionals for a Free Consultation to learn more about winning with the Grids. Let our A+ rated best Disability Lawyer win your SSD or SSI claim using the Medical Vocational Guidelines Grids to your best advantage. Call (248) 549-3485 for a Free Consultation with a Top Rated Disability Lawyer.