Primarily geared toward people who are over age 50, the “Grid Rules” or Medical-Vocational Guidelines may help Social Security find you disabled due to an inability to perform work that is similar to work you have done in the past. As I discussed previously, disability is generally defined as an inability to perform any type of job. Congress recognized that individuals over age 50 are less likely to able to make a career change; this is for a variety of reasons, including the age of the individual, their education, and their work experience. Simply put, Social Security doesn’t expect you to move from a labor-intensive career to a desk job once you have reached age 50.
The Grid Rules become even more helpful once you reach age 55. At that point, as long as you can’t do work similar to what you’ve done in the past and don’t have skills from that work that may be readily useful in lighter duty jobs (jobs without heavy lifting, but where you may be on your feet most of the day), then Social Security can find that you are disabled. It is likely because of these rules that many people note that they have neighbors or acquaintances that don’t appear to be significantly disabled, but are able to receive disability benefits.
Like most laws, there’s more to it than just what has been listed above. A skilled disability attorney can evaluate your work and educational background, and help you figure out whether your health issues may qualify you for disability under the Grid Rules. We are happy to discuss your case with you – call us at (704) 412-4773.