Do Amputees Qualify for SSD?
An amputation, or the loss of a body part, can impact both your quality and outlook on life. One of the main concerns many amputees have is whether or not there are financial resources they can tap into that will aid in their recovery and day-to-day expenses. The government recognizes this and has put federal and state laws in place to help provide amputees with support. One such resource is the Social Security Disability benefits program.
What Constitutes an Amputation
According to the amputee coalition, an estimated 185,000 Americans experience an amputation every year. Amputations can happen to anyone at any time and often occur as the result of an accident or a traumatic experience. Because the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes amputations as a disabling condition, amputees may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD).
The SSA Provides SSD benefits to Americans who are considered “totally and permanently disabled.” Because of the nature of an amputation, applicants typically satisfy the permanent disability stipulation. In terms of the totality of the disability, the SSA refers to its Blue Book.
As outlined by the SSA, amputations are classified under four categories under Section 1.05 of the Blue Book. These categories are defined by the type of amputation that has occurred and the severity of the injury. The four categories include the following:
- Both hands
- One or both lower extremities at or above the ankle bones along with stump complications that result in the inability to use a prosthetic device
- One hand and one lower extremity at or above the ankle bones without the ability to walk or move around effectively
- Hemipelvectomy (a high-level pelvic amputation) or a hip disarticulation (the loss of the limb through the hip joint)
Applying for Social Security Benefits
Because an amputation can impact your ability to work and earning capacity, qualified individuals can tap into Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to help them with day-to-day financial expenses along with medical bills.
In order to qualify, however, you need to be able to show that your amputation is keeping you from earning a living. This is typically done in the form of providing supporting medical evidence and other medical documentation. Additionally, the SSA can examine statements from witnesses in your life who have observed your disability firsthand. These statements can come from caregivers, friends, family members, coworkers, and any other individuals who have witnessed your life as an amputee.
The SSA will also take into consideration any other health issues you may be battling, especially those health issues that were a direct result of the amputation.
Other documentation including x-rays, blood tests, CT and MRI scans, and physical therapy notes, can help strengthen your claim as well.
Seek Out the Guidance of a Social Security Disability Attorney
If you are seeking Social Security Disability benefits, having an experienced Social Security Disability attorney by your side can help you put together a substantial and comprehensive claim that will strengthen your case.
At Drake & Drake, we are committed to representing individuals who qualify for SSD benefits on their path to recovery and wellness. Applying for an SSD claim can be a notoriously difficult process to navigate, but with the right help, you can find success. Schedule your confidential consultation today and learn more about your rights and options when dealing with an SSD benefits claim.