There are a set of rules that the SSA can apply to a claimant’s case based on their age, education, work background and present functional ability to find the person disabled more quickly. These rules are called the ‘GRIDs’.
There are basically four age categories that SSA considers when applying the GRIDs. 1. “Advanced age” refers to an individual age 55 or older. 2. “Closely approaching advanced age” refers to an individual between the ages of 50 and 54. Then there are two “Younger” individual categories ages 45-49 and 18-44 (3. and 4.).
There are also four basic educational categories the SSA considers as well.1. “Illiterate or unable to communicate in English”. 2. “Limited or less”. 3. “High school graduate or more with no additional training that would provide direct entry into the work force” and 4. “High school graduate or more with additional training that would allow for direct entry into the work force” (such as LPN certification for example).
Previous work experience is divided into three main categories:
- 1. “Unskilled or none”.
- 2. “Skilled or semi-skilled work with transferable skills”.
- 3. “Skilled or semi-skilled work with no transferable skills”.
If, upon review of your medical records, the ALJ or SSA decides based on your physical limitations that you are reduced to a particular level of work such as Sedentary AND you have a limited education AND your past work was unskilled AND you are over 50 years of age, then you would meet the GRID rule 201.09. There are several GRID rules for various combinations but the main thing to remember is the older you are, the easier it is to be found disabled based on the GRIDs.