What are the 4 main ways of being found disabled for SSDI and SSI?

  • GRIDDINGS: are many long hallways, with four doors per hallway, that let you into the next length of the hallway.
    • The first door in the hallway is a vocational category door, and those categories are sedentary, light, medium, heavy, or very heavy types of work. The closer you are to light and sedentary work, the better off you are.
    • The second door in the hallway is an age door, and depending on what age category you fit into, whether 0-17, 18-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60-65 will dictate how likely you are to being found disabled. The older you are, the more likely you will be found disabled.
    • The third door in the hallway is an education door, and depending on what education level you reached, will dictate whether you are disabled. Education examples include: illiterate, limited or less than high school education, or a high school graduate.  The less education you have, the more likely you are to be found disabled.
    • The fourth and final door in the hallway is all about the prior skill level required by your past work. This door is based upon the following three categories, being unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled.  Each level requires more training time to be able to do the work.  Two extremes of this would be a mopping job, versus a rocket scientist’s job.  The less skilled work you have done throughout the past 15 years of your life, the more likely you will be found disabled.
      • Remember there are Griddings where you are found disabled, like 202.01, and Griddings where you get through all four doors, and you will not be found disabled, such as 202.11. Think of this as the spreadsheet version of disability, if you line up with the right categories, or putting it another way, open the right 4 doors, then you will be found disabled.
  • LISTINGS: are a large list of pre-defined disabilities, where you need to meet, equal, or exceed them in severity in order to be found disabled. Put another way, you need to be equivalent to a pre-defined list of disabilities, be worse than one of those pre-defined disabilities, or be similar to one of the disabilities on their list.
  • CALs: are compassionate allowance listings. This is not a category you want to be found disabled through, as it means that you will likely die, or live a particularly unfortunate life due to your disabilities.  These were created by a subcommittee who finds the absolute worst disabilities, and allows these claimants a very special fast track to their disability benefits.
  • VOCATIONAL ALLOWANCE: is a granting of disability benefits because the claimant is unable to work a full time skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled job in the national economy. These are common at the administrative law judge level, and are more easily thought of as the “combination” or “grouping” of disabilities way to be found disabled.  So, think about it, if none of your disabilities in themselves are an absolute definitive listing allowance level of severity, but yet you have multiple disabilities which prevent you from working, then you are shooting for a vocational allowance.  In other words, you can’t work because all of your disabilities combine to create a disabled person.