You are over age 50 and have health problems that make it impossible for you to continue working your trade on a full-time basis. Although your condition does not completely eliminate your capacity to do some kinds of work, you may not have the skills to get another job that is either mentally or physically less demanding.
Fortunately, the government recognizes this and has established special regulations, referred to as the grid rules, to help people just like yourself in these situations obtain Social Security Disability benefits.
Understanding The Grid Rules
The “grid rules” are used as a way to determine whether you qualify for benefits. These grid rules will consider your age, education, work skills and functional capacity to perform basic work assignments. In essence, the higher your age and the lower your education, work skills and functional capacity, the higher the likelihood of approval.
How The Grid Rules Work
The government will first determine your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is your ability to perform, on a full-time basis, basic job functions such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling.
The government will evaluate your testimony and medical evidence and will categorize your RFC into one of the five basic categories:
- Less than sedentary work: The inability to perform even sedentary work (i.e., you are unable to sit or stand for a full eight-hour day)
- Sedentary work: Up to six hours sitting, two hours standing and lifting up to 10 pounds
- Light work: Up to two hours sitting, six hours standing and lifting 10 to 20 pounds
- Medium work: Up to two hours sitting, six hours standing and lifting 25 to 50 pounds
- Heavy work: Up to two hours sitting, six hours standing and lifting 50 to 100 pounds
After your RFC is determined, the government, with the help of a vocational or job expert, will decide if any of the job skills you have could transfer to a different job within your RFC.
Once these decisions are made, the government will reference the grid rules by taking your RFC and cross-referencing it with your age group, educational level and transferable skills. The grid rules show how the Social Security Administration will decide your case based on these factors.
Two Instances That Often Result In The Approval Of Benefits
The two most common scenarios where the grid rules will mandate a finding of disability are as follows:
- You are 50 years old or older, your RFC is sedentary and you do not have any skills that would transfer to other sedentary jobs.
- You are 55 years old or older, your RFC is sedentary or light, and you do not have any skills that would transfer to other sedentary or light-duty jobs.
How Packard Law Firm Can Help
If you’re over age 50 and under age 64 and can’t work, reach out to our team of attorneys in San Antonio. Schedule an appointment today to talk further about the grid rules and how they apply to your specific situation
Call us today at 210-679-1930 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Se habla español.