Social Security’s grid rules (the medical-vocational guidelines”) recognize that workers over age 50 will have a more difficult time finding work, especially in entry level jobs that are not physically demanding. In other words, there are a lot of people who could perform a simple cashier job, or serve as a ticket taker in a movie theatre, or who could pack small items in boxes. Employers for these types of jobs often prefer younger, presumably healthier workers as opposed to men and women over age 50 who have a chronic medical problem.
Here are some examples of the grid rules in action – these are case studies describing what happened at actual disability hearings:
Grid Rule Case Study #1 – this report describes a hearing involving a 57 year old female who underwent triple bypass surgery and thereafter suffered numerous complications. This claimant had a high school education and a semi-skilled work background but no transferrable skills. The judge approved this case based on Grid Rule 202.06.
Grid Rule Case Study #2 – this hearing report describes the case of a 51 year old male who previously worked in a warehouse and at a truck dock. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and by the time he started receiving treatment his heart muscle was permanently damaged, he had suffered kidney damage, he had developed diabetes and hypertension. The judge approved this case based on Grid Rule 201.14.
Grid Rules Case Study #3 – this hearing report describes the case of a 52 year old female with neck and back pain arising from a bulging disc following a car accident. Some of the medical treatment here was from a workers compensation doctor so the medical record was not entirely favorable, and there was a lack of consistent medical treatment. Nevertheless the judge was impressed by my client’s long work history and he approved this case based on his conclusion that my client was limited to sedentary work, thus applying Grid Rule 201.14.
Grid Rules Case Study #4 – this hearing report describes the case of a 50+ year old male with a high school education and past work as a cylinder press operator. He alleged disability based on hip and back pain arising from a bi-lateral hip replacement, cervical pain and migraine headaches. I was successful in arguing that Grid Rule 201.14 applied.
Grid Rules Case Study #5 – this hearing report describes the case of a 58 year old male with a college education and post work as an airline flight control manager. He is a 100% disabled veteran and has had multiple back surgeries, rotator cuff surgery and has been place on long term pain management. He was declared disabled based on Grid Rule 202.06.
Grid Rules Case Study #6 – 54 year old male with chronic respiratory impairment, non-functional right hand, chronic low back pain and anxiety
Grid Rules Case Study #7 – 64 year old female with compression fractures of her spine and spondylolisthesis, approved per Grid Rule 202.06. Attorney’s pre-hearing brief included in case study.