Because you are disabled.

File for disability benefits.

Appeal your case.

How you presented your initial application was the best you could do at that time given what you knew and were told.

But, if you were not successful, appeal (1) because you are disabled and (2) because you can improve on your presentation.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Grid Rules

The Administrative Law Judge applied Social Security’s medical-vocational rules, also known as the Grid, to find the claimant disabled as of September 1, 2010.  As of that date, the ALJ considered the claimant to be part of the category of individuals of advanced age, age 55 or older.

The claimant appealed to the district court arguing that she was disabled prior to September 1, 2010.  Among other argument, she asserted that the ALJ erred in relying on the state reviewing physicians, rather than her treating doctors, and the ALJ erred in evaluating her pain and credibility.

By relying exclusively on the Grid rules, the ALJ essentially denied the claimant’s case until she could be considered in the age 55 category.  The district court sustained the decision.

The court noted that:

“The Grid considers the vocational factors of age, education, work experience, and [residual functional capacity], and serves to establish disability by synthesizing these factors. 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 2 § 200.00(a). Under the Grid, age is divided into three categories: younger person (18-49); person closely approaching advanced age (50-54); and person of advanced age (55 and over) 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1563(c)-(e).”

The court continued:  “The ALJ correctly applied the Grid at Step 5 to find that Plaintiff is a person of limited education, with no transferable skills, who is unable to perform her past relevant work.”


Especially for an older worker, the Grid Rules can mean the difference between being found disabled or not disabled.

Bubeck v. Commissioner of Social Security, Case No. 3:12-cv-333 (D. S.D. Ohio, Western Div., Dayton, Jan. 9, 2014).

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