Musculoskeletal conditions affect half of American adults
Of all the categories of disabilities affecting the American public, it appears that none are more common than musculoskeletal conditions like back pain, tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. The World Health Organization estimates that one out of two adults in the U.S. has at least one musculoskeletal disorder. Think about that: half of all adults, including millions of working-age people in Tennessee and across the country, are living with a painful, debilitating condition.
More and more, people with these forms of disability are turning to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. A report by insurance company Unum indicates that SSDI claims based on a musculoskeletal disability have gone up 40% in the past ten years — 62% if you look only at male applicants.
What is causing this surge in disability
Unum believes several workplace factors are behind this trend:
- Aging workforce
- Heavy lifting
- Repetitive tasks
- Required, lengthy periods of sitting
Lifting heavy objects can lead to back, hip and leg problems. So can desk jobs that force you to sit for hours a day in a poor posture. Meanwhile, repetitive tasks like typing or manufacturing can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and similar injuries to the hands and wrists.
While health care, braces and physical therapy can help, many people’s musculoskeletal disabilities are too extensive to be healed to the point that they can work again. If you are in this position, SSDI benefits can help you make up for your lost income so you can continue to live at a similar income level you were accustomed to while you worked.
Lawyers help people get disability benefits
Being approved for SSDI benefits can be difficult. The Social Security Administration turns down most initial applications. Fortunately, you have the right to appeal, with the help of a qualified attorney.