Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers Explain Medical and Vocational Grids
Applicants who do not have a disability on the Social Security list of impairments can still qualify for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance.) Social Security must determine whether an applicant is able to perform their previous employment or any other employment. The Social Security Administration uses the Medical Vocations Guidelines, or a grid, to determine whether an applicant is able to perform other employment. The grid is a table or spreadsheet that looks at an applicant’s physical residual capacity, age, education level, skill level and whether any of the applicant’s job skills can be transferred to a new job. The table will indicate whether the claimant is disabled or not disabled.
- RFC (Residual Functional Capacity)
An RFC evaluation analyzes the applicant’s physical exertion limitations to determine what the applicant is still able to do. Some of the considerations include how much weight a person can lift and how long the person can stand. The physical factors will be used to assign one of five RFC levels: sedentary, light, medium, heavy and very heavy work. Most Social Security disability applicants cannot do heavy or very heavy work. Many applicants who are experiencing pain are categorized as sedentary.
There are different grids for the following age groups: Under 50, 50-55, 55 to 59, and over 60.
- Education Levels
There are four education categories that Social Security uses to evaluate a disability through the grids:
- Illiterate or not able to communicate in English
- Little education: an 11th grade education or less
- A high school graduate. This include applicants who have a GED (Graduate Equivalency Degree)
- Those with more education than the other categories.
- Skill Level – Previous Work Experience
Social Security Administration categorizes applicants’ past work into three skill levels: unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled. Social Security uses U.S. Department of Labor guidelines, the worker’s past job descriptions, and information on how long it took the worker to be trained to determine the appropriate skill level.
How the Grids Work
There are different grids for each age and for each RFC level. The grid that applies to the applicant’s age and RFC level will have two columns for the applicant’s education level and previous work experience. When the correct row is found, the third column will indicate if the worker is disabled or not disabled.
Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore Work with Disability Grids
Philadelphia Social Security disability lawyers at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore have the knowledge and experience to show that workers with certain health conditions and applying for disability benefits have a listed impairment. When a listed impairment cannot be proven, our Philadelphia disability lawyers utilize the medical and vocational grids to help claimants avoid denial of benefits. Disabled claimants should call 1-800-CANT-WORK (1-800-226-8967) or 215-627-9999 for a free consultation or submit our online contact form. We help disabled workers nationwide.