The Basics On Musculoskeletal Disorders And SSD Approval

musculoskeletal disorders

Many people with musculoskeletal disorders think they are unable to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) because their impairments either don’t bound them to wheelchairs or they think their conditions are just symptoms of old age. However, the SSA approves thousands of claims from those with musculoskeletal disorders every year, and such conditions are common among Social Security disability (SSDI) beneficiaries. Don’t think that just because you have reached a certain age means you can’t receive benefits for having back pain, spinal disorders or arthritis. With the help of an experienced attorney, your claim may have the same chance to be approved as those with other types of disabilities.

Here are the three things you need to know about musculoskeletal disorders and SSD approval:

What Are Considered Musculoskeletal Disorders By the SSA?

Some people may not realize their joint pain is a symptom of a musculoskeletal disorder, even though their impairment keeps them from working. According to health resource Healthline, the term musculoskeletal disorder is applied to numerous types of conditions impacting a person’s muscles, bones and joints. Severity of pain or discomfort varies from person to person, and depends on activity levels and movement. Musculoskeletal disorders can affect an individual’s physical movement because numerous areas of the body, such as the hips, knees and back, can be in pain.

Healthline notes these types of medical impairments are common in certain industries, including nurses and truck drivers, according to previous data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although a person’s risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder increases with age, occupation and other factors can also cause the impairments.

How Many SSD Beneficiaries Have Musculoskeletal Disorders?

If you think you don’t have a chance of being found eligible for benefits due to musculoskeletal disorders, you should think again. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, 29% of disabled workers who received SSD benefits in 2011 had a type of musculoskeletal condition like arthritis. In fact, these types of impairments were most common among beneficiaries over the age of 50, NASI says. Only 21% of SSDI beneficiaries had diabetes, a type of cancer or infectious disease, while 32 percent had mental impairments.

According to the SSA, 162,800 beneficiaries had a musculoskeletal system or connective tissue disease 14 years ago, accounting for 24.3 percent of total beneficiaries. This means that not only are musculoskeletal disorders fairly common, they are one of the most common type of impairments that receive disability benefits from the SSA.

Is The Claims Approval Process Different For Those With Musculoskeletal Disorders?

The SSA follows the same basic process of evaluating disability claims. Those with musculoskeletal disorders may have their work history and current medical records evaluated closely, however, as these materials are crucial to determining if the person’s disorder inhibits his or her ability to work. According to the SSA, there are many reasons behind the development of a musculoskeletal disorder. These include hereditary causes, traumatic events or degenerative processes, the SSA notes. The agency will evaluate the person’s loss of function. Determining the applicant’s loss of function is critical, but the SSA will also evaluate the person’s diagnosis through the supporting materials.

How A Social Security Advocate or Attorney Can Help You

While musculoskeletal disorders are common among SSD beneficiaries, it is always a wise move to partner with a Social Security attorney or advocate. Even if you are immobile, that doesn’t mean the SSA will automatically find you disabled because of your impairment. An attorney is able to help you through the process and remain at your side the whole way through, potentially improving your chances of receiving a favorable outcome.

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