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Ginsberg Law Offices

What are the “Grid” Rules and Where Can I Find Them?

Jonathan, what are the grid rules you mentioned? (why is your case easier to win if you are over 50)?

Jonathan Ginsberg responds: The “grids” are rules that can make it easier for you to be found disabled. Social Security recognizes that if you are over 50, have a limited education and have limited job skills, you will have a more difficult time re-entering the work force. Job possibilities become even harder at 55 and even more so at 60.

If you put these factors (age, education ,transferability of skills, work capacity) into a table, you can construct a grid of intersecting boxes.  Thus – the “grids.”  The official name for the grids is the “medical vocational guidelines.”

Under the grids, you can be found disabled even if you can still perform certain types of work. By contrast, cliamants under the age of 50 generally would not be found disabled if they could do any work.

The grids are a series of tables that consider these factors. You can look at the grids by clicking on the link.

Example: Under grid rule 201.04, a 55 year old individual who can perform sedentary (sit down) work who is a high school graduate, with an unskilled work background and who does not have the skills to perform semi-skilled or skilled work would be found disabled under the grids.

Note that the grid rules only apply if your medical condition limits your physical capacity for work.  You cannot “grid out” for a mental health problem.