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What must be shown to get benefits for a musculoskeletal injury?

Many Georgia residents enjoy an active lifestyle, which may consist of a number of different hobbies and activities. It can be disheartening and painful when a person suffers an injury that not only prevents the person from continuing to engage in this active lifestyle, but also results in an inability to work.

Fortunately, relief may be available for injured persons in the form of Social Security disability benefits. Last week, for example, this blog discussed issues faced by those receiving disability benefits for musculoskeletal disorders.

In order to receive benefits for a musculoskeletal injury, individuals typically must show a loss of function. While there are different causes of a musculoskeletal impairment, individuals must show they have an inability to ambulate effectively on a sustained basis. This may be because of the pain that occurs from the impairment, or the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively.

Not only must this loss of function be shown generally, but it must also be shown that individuals suffer this loss of function for a required period of time. Under the regulations, this inability to ambulate effectively or to perform fine and gross movements effectively must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least 12 months.

Different criteria exist if the person's inability to perform activities results from a mental impairment, as opposed to the physical impairment described above. Typically, the person's ability to ambulate effectively or perform fine and gross movements effectively is determined based on the medical and other evidence in the record. Accordingly, it is important for those suffering from musculoskeletal injuries to understand not only what must be shown, but how to meet these requirements as well.

Source: Social Security Administration, "1.00 Musculoskeletal System - Adult," accessed on Mar. 5, 2016

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