At The Forefront Of Disability And Elder Law

What are major medical-vocational guidelines for SSDI?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Social Security Disability |

Many people in Washington state have disabilities that hinder their ability to work. Social Security Disability Insurance may be able to provide financial support.

However, the eligibility process can seem confusing.

Medical conditions

The Social Security Administration assesses applicants’ medical conditions to determine eligibility. Conditions must be severe enough to impede substantial gainful activity for at least 12 months or result in death. Diagnoses, treatment records, physician statements and other types of medical evidence play a major role in this evaluation.

Residual functional capacity

The RFC evaluation examines an individual’s ability to perform work-related activities despite their impairments. Factors considered include physical and mental limitations, such as lifting capacity, mobility, concentration and social interaction skills. The RFC assessment helps determine the types of jobs an individual can perform, if any.

Age, education and work experience

Age, education and work experience are significant factors in SSDI determinations. Younger individuals may find it more challenging to qualify. They are expected to adapt to different work environments. Conversely, older individuals with limited education and work experience may have a stronger case. Their ability to transition to new roles may be limited.

Medical-Vocational Guidelines

The SSA uses a grid system, known as the Medical-Vocational Guidelines or “the grid,” to evaluate disability claims. The grid considers RFC, age, education and work experience to determine eligibility. Individuals whose characteristics match the criteria in the grid are more likely to receive SSDI benefits.

With a better understanding of the medical-vocational guidelines, applicants can improve their chances of getting SSDI benefits.


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