SSA SHOULD APPLY GRID RULES AND GRANT DISABILITY CLAIMS
THE SSA SHOULD GRANT MORE DISABILITY CLAIMS
The SSA should apply the GRID Rules and grant more disability claims. At Cannon Disability Law, we routinely see the SSA deny disability claims when they should be granted. If the GRID Rules were applied properly, more people would receive the disability benefits that they deserve and are entitled to by law.
There are three levels to the disability process: the initial, reconsideration, and hearing level. Cases can be awarded at all three levels. At the initial and reconsideration level, DDS is in charge of the case. DDS is Disability Determination Services.
DOES DDS APPLY THE GRID RULES TO DISABILITY CLAIMS?
Often, DDS does not apply the GRID Rules. The GRID Rules offer a way for claimant’s to win their case even if their disability doesn’t meet or equal SSA’s criteria. Even if the disability does not perfectly meet the legal criteria, the claimant is able to win because the GRID states they cannot function in a normal job.
For example, when a claimant’s disability impairs them physically and mentally, the SSA should evaluate claimant’s ability to function. If a claimant has a back impairment that preventS them from standing and lifting more than 10 pounds, they would be limited to sedentary work. Sedentary work is seated, like a desk job. If the claimant is over 50 and cannot use their skills, even if they can do sedentary work, they win.
It may seem strange that even if a person could work, they still win benefits. But what this law acknowledges it that older people do not get hired by employers. A claimant who is over 50 years old cannot complete with a younger person who has the same credentials. The employer will almost always hire a younger person over an older one.
THE 5TH CIRCUIT HOLDS THAT ALJ HAS NO DISCRETION TO IGNORE THE GRID RULES
In Schofield v. Saul (5th Circuit 02/28/2020), the Court recently held that ALJ’s cannot ignore the GRID Rules. The plaintiff, Schofield, was denied Social Security benefits based on the SSA’s decision that she did not qualify under the GRID Rules. The 5th Circuit reversed.
The court found that the administrative law judge (ALJ) did not provide anything in his decision that it could use to evaluate its consideration of Schofield’s borderline age. However, the regulations governing the ALJ’s evaluation of an applicant’s age expressly state, “[i]f you are within a few days to a few months of reaching an older age category, and using the older age category would result in a determination . . . that you are disabled, we will consider whether to use the older age category.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(b). Therefore, the ALJ expressly ignored SSA’s GRID rules. The ALJ had no discretion to ignore the GRID Rule regulations.
CANNON DISABILITY CAN USE THE GRID RULES TO HELP YOU WIN YOUR DISABILITY CLAIM
In the past 30 years, we have won thousands of disability cases. If you are over 50 years old and SSA denied your case, call us. We can help you win. Like the law states, we don’t think you can compete with younger workers. Also, if you lost your job due to disability, it is likely that you cannot start over in the workforce.
Therefore, the SSA should apply the GRID rules to grant your case. If you contact us, we can explain how we can help. Better yet, we will do so for free. We offer all of our clients a free initial consultation. We will also help you apply for benefits and appeal any SSA denials. It doesn’t cost you anything to contact us or to talk to us. If you live in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, or California, contact us for free today.