The Social Security Administration and the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) that decide cases at the hearing level frequently use a grid of the Medical-Vocational Rules to determine if a claimant is disabled or not.  If the “grid rules” indicate a finding of disabled, then it is referred to as “gridding out” and the analysis essentially stops in the claimant’s favor.  On the other hand, if the grids indicate a finding of not-disabled, it is still possible that you can be found disabled if your functional capacity is further eroded by other limitations and restrictions that prevent you from working.  It is noteworthy to point out that the grid rules are primarily a Step 5 tool.  For instance, if DDS or the ALJ find you are capable of light-duty work, but if your past relevant work (PRW) includes light-duty work then you will be denied at Step 4 of the analysis regardless whether the grid rules would otherwise dictate a finding of disabled.

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