Losing a limb is a life-altering occurrence. Oftentimes, the loss of a limb will cause the victim to no longer be able to perform daily functions at work. Amputation does not provide an automatic guarantee of Social Security disability benefits. Certain qualifications still need to be met before benefits will be granted.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is not concerned with how a limb was lost, rather at least one of the following criteria must be met in order to be considered for Social Security Disability benefits.
– The amputation of both hands
– The amputation of one or both legs at or above the ankle.
– The inability to walk effectively including the inability to have a prosthetic device or use a walker, canes, crutches, or a wheelchair
– The amputation of one hand and one leg above the ankle plus the inability to walk effectively
– The amputation of one leg up to the hip
– Pelvic amputation
Amputees who do not fit any of the above criteria, may still be eligible for disability benefits. Those who fall under the following criteria may still apply for benefits.
An amputation of the dominant hand
The amputation results in a limitation of the ability to perform work-related tasks. When work related tasks are affected, the Social Security Administration will determine the level of “residual function capacity” (RFC) or how much and it what ways the ability to work is limited by the amputation. If the SSA determines that any job the applicant had performed previously can still be done, or if any other job can be done, it is possible the claim can be denied.
As part of the application process, those looking to make a disability claim will need to provide medical evidence. The records that are provided to the SSA should include the following information:
– Documentation that proves there was an amputation
– Documentation of the ability or inability to use a prosthetic device
– Documentation of the applicant’s ability to perform simple physical acts that include walking, bending, squatting, and rising.
– Documentation that states whether the treating physician feels the functional limitations will or will not improve
Anyone looking to receive disability benefits needs to fill out an application and sign releases that allow treating physicians to release medial records. The SSA will review the documentation and make the final determination based on their findings.