Applying the Grid Rules – Case Study #5
Claimant: 58 year old male
Past work: traffic flagger, pipe fitter/construction worker, car wash attendant, asbestos removal worker
Education: 9th grade education + GED (limited reading/writing skills) + 3 semesters at trade school but no certificate
Basis of disability claim: my client last worked in February, 2008, when he was laid off. In August, 2008 he began experiencing blurred vision and dizziness and was admitted to a local hospital where he remained for almost 2 months when he experienced kidney failure and was diagnosed with diabetes. Upon his release from the hospital he has been treated at the local public hospital for uncontrolled Type II diabetes (with blood sugar readings regularly over 250), uncontrolled hypertension, arthritis in his left knee and depression.
Analysis: When the hearing was called the judge accepted the exhibit file into evidence, briefly went thru preliminary matters, then asked me for an opening statement. I noted that my client was 58 years old with a GED education and limited reading and writing skills. I also noted that his past work was all physical work and appeared to be heavy to very heavy. I identified the following vocational issues:
blurred vision arising from uncontrolled diabetes
frequent and severe headaches arising from the uncontrolled hypertension
painful and weakened left knee that had to be extended and could not be kept at a 45 degree angle
need to urinate every 20 to 30 minutes because of diuretic medication
shortness of breath due to multiple medical conditions
occasional outbursts of temper due to depression and diabetes
The judge asked a few preliminary questions then asked me to examine the claimant. I began by asking him about his August, 2008 hospitalization and his subsequent problems keeping his blood sugar and blood pressure under control. I established that he was compliant with medication and diet but that his lab readings remained unacceptably high. I had him describe the pain in his leg and established that his capacity to stand and walk was limited to “no more than 7 car lengths.” I asked him about his need to urinate and elicited testimony that he needed a bathroom break at least 2x per hour.
The judge asked a few follow up questions then turned to the vocational witness. The VE described all of the claimant’s past work as unskilled. The DOT identified two of the past jobs as light, one as heavy and one as very heavy.
The judge then stated that she had no questions for the VE and closed the hearing.
Summary: I believe that the judge will approve this case based on one of the following grid rules:
202.01 – 55+ individual with limited education, unskilled work background and capacity to perform light work
202.04 – 55+ individual with high school education that does not provide for entry into skilled work, unskilled work background and capacity to perform light work
201.01 – 55+ individual with limited education, unskilled work background and the capacity to perform sedentary work
201.04 – 55+ individual with high school education that does not provide for entry into skilled work, unskilled work background and the capacity to perform sedentary work.