It depends. Some people with prosthetic limbs are eligible for Social Security disability benefits and others are not eligible for benefits. At first glance, this may seem arbitrary or unfair. However, the Social Security Administration considers specific factors to determine whether a person with a prosthetic limb is eligible for disability benefits.
How the Social Security Administration Decides
If you have a prosthetic limb that allows you to walk effectively, your application for Social Security disability benefits may be denied. However, you may be eligible for benefits if you can prove that even with a prosthetic limb:
- You are limited in the amount of time that you can stand or walk.
- You have difficulty walking without assistance.
- You need crutches, a cane, a wheelchair, or another assistive device to walk.
- You have difficulty managing public transportation on your own or driving.
- You face other limitations because of your amputation, despite your use of a prosthetic limb.
Your prosthesis may dramatically improve your quality of life, but you may still be unable to do the work you did prior to your amputation or to perform another job.
How to Make a Case to the Social Security Administration
When you submit your Social Security disability application, it is important that you have accurate and complete information to prove that you are unable to work. This includes, but may not be limited to:
- Medical records. The Social Security Administration will want to know that you are complying with your doctor’s recommendations regarding the prosthesis.
- Employment history. The Social Security Administration will assess what jobs you may realistically perform and this will depend, in part, on your previous work experience.
Social Security disability applications can be complicated, but it is important to fill them out fully and correctly so that you can start getting the benefits you deserve as soon as possible. To learn more, please read our free Social Security Disability Fact Sheet and contact us directly for a free consultation.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.