What is Grid Eligibility & Do I Qualify?

Social Security Disability applications are often denied due to the strict regulations the Social Security Administration (SSA) has set when determining actual medical impairment. Being denied once does not mean being denied permanently. Furthermore, your medical impairment doesn’t even need to change or worsen before you can gain the benefits you need thanks to a secondary system known as grid eligibility.

Grid eligibility and its governing “grid rules” was created to help older individuals – 50 and up, in most cases – gain approval of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits after they have been initially denied due to one circumstance or another. The belief of the SSA is that older individuals have a more difficult time adjusting to a new workplace or occupation after suffering an injury that removes them from their chosen profession. For example: someone over 50 who has only ever done construction but can now only do sedentary or seated work may have considerable trouble learning to do an office desk job that requires computation skills. The SSA has set up a grid of factors that, when applied to a denied applicant, can come together to actually gain their approval for benefits.

The contributing grid factors are:

  • Age
  • Education level
  • Skill required for previous occupations
  • Transferrable job skills
  • Residual functional capacity (maximum hardship that can be endured)

In most cases, age is the grid factor that weighs the most on whether or not grid eligibility will be granted. As another example, someone who is over the age of 50, did not earn a GED (General Education Diploma), and did not learn any transferrable job skills in the past, they could earn SSD benefits despite not having a normally-accepted medical impairment. On the other hand, someone who is younger, has a college education, and has a wealth of job skills may not gain SSD benefits due to the grid’s factors, even if they have a slight medical impairment.

To learn more about grid eligibility, or to file a Social Security Disability claim after you have been denied necessary benefits, call Disability Action Advocates toll-free at (888) 421-8705. Our Las Vegas Social Security Disability attorneys can help you understand your rights and navigate this notoriously complicated process. Fill out an online case evaluation form today to begin.

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