Musculoskeletal Disorders and Qualifying for Social Security Disability

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a group of medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues that support the body’s movement and posture. MSDs can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as pain, weakness, stiffness, and limited range of motion, and can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to work and perform daily activities.

If you’re suffering from an MSD and it’s preventing you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. In this article, we’ll discuss what MSDs are, how they’re evaluated for SSD eligibility, and what you can do to increase your chances of getting approved for benefits.

Types of Musculoskeletal Disorders

MSDs can affect any part of the musculoskeletal system, and there are many different types of MSDs. Some of the most common MSDs include:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Herniated discs

These conditions can be caused by a variety of factors, such as age, genetics, repetitive motion, overuse, trauma, and other medical conditions.

Evaluating MSDs for SSD Eligibility

When evaluating an MSD for SSD eligibility, Social Security uses the same five-step process that’s used for all disability claims:

  • Are you currently employed and earning more than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit? In 2023, the SGA limit is $1,310 per month.
  • Is your condition severe enough to limit your ability to do basic work activities?
  • Does your condition meet or equal the severity of a medical condition on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) List of Impairments?
  • Can you do the work you did before your disabling injury?
  • Can you do other kinds of work despite your disability?

If you’re able to work and earn more than the SGA limit, you won’t be eligible for SSD benefits. If you’re not working or earning less than the SGA limit, Social Security will evaluate the severity of your condition and determine if it meets the criteria for SSD eligibility. This can be a complex process, and it’s important to have medical evidence to support your claim.

Medical Evidence for MSD Disability Claims

Medical evidence is critical for MSD disability claims. Social Security will review your medical records, imaging studies, and other medical evidence to determine the severity of your condition and how it affects your ability to work. To increase your chances of getting approved for benefits, you should:

  • See a doctor or specialist who has experience treating MSDs.
  • Be consistent with your treatment and follow your doctor’s orders.
  • Get imaging studies, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, to support your diagnosis.
  • Keep a detailed record of your symptoms and how they affect your ability to work and perform daily activities.

Getting Help with Your MSD Disability

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with a musculoskeletal disorder, you must meet the criteria outlined in the Blue Book, which is the official guide used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine disability eligibility.

The Blue Book lists several musculoskeletal conditions that can qualify for disability benefits, including arthritis, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and degenerative disc disease. However, just having a musculoskeletal disorder is not enough to qualify for benefits. The condition must be severe enough to prevent you from working and earning a substantial income.

In order to be approved for benefits, your medical records and documentation must demonstrate that your musculoskeletal disorder has caused significant limitations in your daily activities, including walking, sitting, standing, and lifting. You may also need to undergo additional testing or evaluations to further document the extent of your condition.

It is important to note that the SSA will also consider your age, work history, and education when evaluating your disability claim. These factors will help the SSA determine whether you are able to perform any other type of work despite your musculoskeletal disorder.

If you have been diagnosed with a musculoskeletal disorder and are unable to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. It is important to speak with an experienced disability attorney to discuss your options and ensure that your claim is handled properly.

At Disability Benefit Guide USA, our team of specialists has helped thousands of individuals like you successfully navigate the application and appeal processes. We offer a Free Disability Consultation to help you understand your rights and determine if you qualify for benefits. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards securing the benefits you deserve.

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