Why is my age, education and work experience important to my SSD claim?
How Social Security Disability Medical-Vocational Guidelines affect your benefits
Social Security recognizes that it’s difficult for an individual with a medical condition to get back into the workforce at an older age. Social Security also recognizes that an individual with a limited education who has always done heavy work is going to have trouble finding a sit-down job.
You should understand that anyone who is 50 or older will have a much easier time qualifying for disability benefits. You can even get Social Security Disability benefits if you are able to do some work.
The Social Security Disability Medical-Vocational Guidelines were created to help decision-makers deal with these difficult vocational issues. Factors such as your age, education, previous work experience and maximum residual functional capacity will be considered. The Medical-Vocational Guidelines will then direct a finding of whether you are disabled or not disabled.
An example: John is a 50-year-old man with a high school education. He has driven a truck for the last 15 years and was injured in an auto accident. John suffered a herniated disc in his back and underwent a spinal fusion surgery. John’s doctor has released him to work but with no lifting above 10 pounds and no prolonged standing. John cannot return to his work as a truck driver because of the lifting requirements. John is approaching advanced age (50-54), has a high school education and is limited to a sedentary job. The Medical-Vocational Guidelines direct that John is entitled to disability benefits.
Another example: Sally is a 55-year-old woman with a high school education and some college credits. Sally was involved in an auto accident and suffered a torn rotator cuff that required surgery. Sally was given permanent restrictions of no lifting over 20 pounds. Sally cannot return to her work as a nurse’s aide because she cannot help patients out of bed. Sally is of advanced age (55 or over), has a high school education or more, and is limited to light work. The Medical-Vocational Guidelines direct that Sally is entitled to disability benefits.
Have questions about Medical-Vocational Guidelines?
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