Your injury is obvious. You have lost an arm, hand, finger, leg, foot, or toe. You may be unable to work, but approval for Social Security disability benefits is not automatic. Instead, as with any other injury or medical condition, you will need to prove that you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
What Makes You Eligible?
If you have enough work credits to quality for Social Security disability, you may qualify for benefits after an amputation if you can prove that you meet the requirements of Section 1.05 of the Listing of Impairments, if your condition is equal in severity to a condition in the Listing of Impairments, or if you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of your impairment.
More specifically, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you have:
- Both hands amputated
- One or both legs amputated at or above the ankle and you suffer stump complications that make you unable to use a prosthetic limb to walk effectively. You may not be able to walk effectively if you need two hands to use an assistive device such as a walker or crutches or if you need the assistance of others to move.
- One hand amputated and one leg amputated at or above the ankle that makes it difficult to walk effectively
- A high level pelvic amputation (hemipelvectomy) or the surgical removal of the entire leg through the hip joint (hip disarticulation)
- Reduced functional capacity that makes you unable to work at the job you had prior to your amputation, or any other job
Whether you meet a specific listing in the Listing of Impairments or not, you will have to file a complete Social Security disability application and go through the application process before the Social Security Administration will decide whether you can recover benefits. The application process will require detailed medical evidence, a complete work history, and other information.
Get the Help You Need to Get the Benefits You Deserve
The majority of Social Security disability applications are denied because of incomplete or incorrect applications. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, begin getting the benefits that you deserve as soon as possible by completing your application correctly the first time.
Please contact a board certified attorney today to learn more about your rights and to schedule an initial consultation about your claim. We can help you through the application process and we will fight hard to get you the benefits you’ve earned.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.