Age certainly contributed to Frank’s arthritis. This fact was little consolation as he watched his ability to work disappear. The arthritis affected his ability to grasp small objects, but also to walk long distances. As Frank applied for disability benefits to cover his lost income, he learned more about functional loss and the musculoskeletal system.
Functional Loss, Defined
Simply speaking, it’s when you lose the ability to function in some way. Specifically, the term may relate to problems with the musculoskeletal system.
The term ‘musculoskeletal system’ refers to the body’s bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, and related tissues. This system is vital because it gives your body stability and the ability to move. Disorders may be hereditary, congenital, or acquired processes.
Problems with the musculoskeletal system can lead to functional loss. As your body becomes less able to move, you may have trouble with activities of daily living. Sometimes, functional loss in the musculoskeletal system can prevent someone from working.
Functional Loss and Disability Benefits
People who are unable to work due to a medical condition may qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) runs two common government benefit programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In both, applicants must prove a disability to receive benefits.
As SSA caseworkers review an application, they will look for proof of functional loss that backs up the disability claim. Their review will be based on the SSA’s list of impairments, Section 1.00, Musculoskeletal System.
Generally, a functional loss may be caused by:
- Bone or joint deformity or destruction;
- Spine disorders without neurological deficits;
- Fractures or soft tissue injuries that require extended periods of recovery.
Infections, inflammation, degenerative process, traumatic events, or disease may cause musculoskeletal impairments. The SSA may decide that functional loss from such impairments qualifies the individual for disability benefits.
Not Sure Whether You Have a Disability?
You must have a disability to receive SSDI and SSI. However, there’s more to eligibility than disability. The application process can be hard to understand.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.