Functional Impairment refers to the change of function in a body part(s) which restricts your ability to work after an injury. This is not only about your current job, but also any others that you could potentially have. A person could be working a physical job and sustain an injury. They may, however, still be able to work in a less physical profession, such as a desk job. In essence, the point of functional impairment is to ensure that the individual cannot continue working in any profession, because of the limitations of their injury.
This can include offsite difficulties. One example is if a construction worker had their right foot crushed in a construction accident. As a result, they would be unable to work at their old job. They could be asked “Suppose we got you a job sitting behind a desk at a movie theater, just collecting tickets from people as they entered the theater. Is there any reason why you can not perform that job?” While they would be able to perform the job, they might not be able to get to the job.
Due to the damage to his right foot, he can’t walk, drive, or get to the bus. So, while he would be able to perform the job, his disability would prevent him from getting to the job. This is only one example of Functional Impairment, but it can still qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits. Overall, offsite difficulties can be an important factor in your claim of functional impairment.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide or be relied on for medical or legal advice. D’Agostino & Associates P.C. has offices in New York and New Jersey. Call 1-888-24-LAW-24 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.