Social Security Disability Grid Rules

I frequently refer to grid rules.  What are grid rules?  They are a set of charts that are medical -vocational guidelines.  Social security has recognized that it may be difficult for claimants over 50 to get a job.   The lower your education level and the fewer job skills you have the more difficult it may be to find a job.  So they have a list of charts set up in grids that you can use to see if you may qualify for disability using the grid rules.

The grid rules use your age, education, the level of skill of your previous work, transferability of job skills and the level of exertion of work that you are able to perform to help determine if you are disabled.  The grid rules are not used for mental impairments.

The age categories include the following:  45 to 49, 50 to 54, 55+ and 60 to 64.

The level of skill includes skilled jobs, unskilled jobs and no job history.

The level of exertion consists of 3 categories:

Sedentary: Sedentary work means that you are able to sit for up to 6 hours in an 8 hour day, and lift up to 10 lbs. occasionally during a day.

Light: Light work means that you can stand and walk for up to 6 hours in an 8 hour day, lift 10 lbs. frequently and 20 lbs. occasionally.

Medium: Medium work means that you can stand and walk for up to 6 hours in an 8 hour day, lift 25 lbs. frequently and 50 lbs. occasionally.

To use the charts first you need to determine at what level of exertion you can perform a job.

If you can perform a sedentary job go to the sedentary work charts here: Sedentary Work

If you can perform a light job go to the light work charts here: Light Work

If you can perform a medium job go to the medium work charts here: Medium Work

You then look at the table and find your age, level of education and level of skill and transferability.  You then look to the right of the chart and it will state whether you are disabled or not disabled according to the grid rules.

You must remember that even if you are found disabled according to the grid rules the social security administration may still find that you are not disabled if you can return to a job that you have held in the previous 15 years.

Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.