Musculoskeletal System Disorders

SSDI Lawyers Serving Chicago Area Residents

Musculoskeletal system disorders are problems that impact your spinal cord, legs, arms, and joints. Often they’re very painful, and this can make it difficult or impossible to keep working. Numerous musculoskeletal problems can qualify a person for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, but the symptoms must be severe. Many valid SSDI claims are turned down. If you’re disabled, you should consult with your doctor and consider speaking with an experienced Chicago Social Security attorney about your specific musculoskeletal system disorder.

Musculoskeletal System Disorders

Musculoskeletal pain can have many different causes. Often people with musculoskeletal pain find that their whole body aches. Pain can also be caused by repetitive movements, overusing muscles, fractures, and other trauma. Symptoms that are frequently associated with musculoskeletal system disorders include fatigue, pain, and sleep problems.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) follows Blue Book guidelines to decide whether a claimant qualifies for Social Security disability benefits based on a musculoskeletal system disorder. Disabilities in the Blue Book are divided into multiple categories, and within each category there are basic requirements that qualify one for disability benefits. Unlike in the workers’ compensation system or the civil system for personal injuries, the reason for your injuries is not relevant to qualifying for SSDI. Rather, the SSA is interested in the extent to which your disability stops you from working: how you move, do tasks, or concentrate at work.

Musculoskeletal disorders are subdivided into amputations, fractures, joint disorders, and spine disorders. In the first category, usually two or more limbs must have been amputated to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, but there are cases in which one amputated limb is enough to qualify, so long as a prosthetic device couldn’t be used to help you work again. Fractures only qualify you if they make it impossible for you to work for at least a year. Joint disorders must be major in order to qualify. Similarly, spinal disorders need to impact your ability to move, do work tasks, sit, stand, or concentrate. Many conditions do get better over time. To qualify for benefits, you’ll need to be able to show that the disability is going to last at least 12 months. Conditions listed in the Blue Book include cubital tunnel syndrome, degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, anterior poliomyelitis, avascular necrosis, back pain, bone spurs, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures of upper extremities or the femur or tibia or pelvis, herniated discs, hip pain, hip replacement, joint pain, knee pain, knee replacement, neck pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, paralysis, ruptured disc, scoliosis, shoulder pain, reflex sympathetic disorder, spina bifida, spinal fusion, and torn ACL.

There are different treatments available for musculoskeletal system disorders. Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination and take a medical history; she may perform diagnostic tests. Often medications are prescribed for inflammation. For certain disorders, medications may be prescribed to affect the neurotransmitters that address pain, sleep, and immune system function. Sometimes injections or physical therapy are ordered.

SSDI Claims Arising Out of Musculoskeletal System Disorders

If your symptoms are severe enough that you can’t work, you may be able to get SSDI benefits even if you don’t meet the Blue Book listing. There aren’t guidelines for all types of disorders that might qualify one for SSDI, and pain can be at least partly subjective. The standard for disability is that you must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a mental or physical impairment that can be medically determined (or a combination of such impairments) that have lasted or are anticipated to last at least 12 back-to-back months or that can be expected to result in death. The SSA engages in a 5-step sequential analysis to figure out whether a musculoskeletal system disorder should qualify a claimant for SSDI.

Consult a Skillful SSDI Attorney in Chicago

If you are concerned about obtaining SSDI benefits in connection with musculoskeletal system disorders in Chicago, you can consult a seasoned lawyer. The skillful attorneys Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck are available to represent SSDI claimants in Rockford, Aurora, Champaign, and Quincy, as well as Winnebago, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.