Disability Benefit for Amputations

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Applying for Disability Benefits for Amputations

Amputation is the traumatic or surgical removal of any part of the body, which can have a considerable impact on an individual’s life. The loss of a leg or arm can create serious difficulties and limit a person’s ability to perform daily activities. An amputation is generally irreversible and can be emotionally devastating for the victims. However, there are several reasons why surgical amputation can be important and beneficial. Here are some of the critical reasons why your medical healthcare professional may suggest this treatment to you. 

  • A severe injury in that body part
  • Infection that does not get better with medications and other treatment options
  • Cancerous tumor
  • Frostbite
  • Diabetes
  • Thickening of the nerve tissues

These are some of the conditions for which amputation may become necessary and is often the only option for treatment. When an individual does not consent to amputation and keeps ignoring their condition for a long time, the situation can become life-threatening.

This is because the tissues present in the affected body part can die, leading to severe infections and gangrene, which may affect the body’s overall health or even lead to death. Many older adults face the need for amputations, and they can apply for disability benefits under the Social Security Administration’s disability over 50 program.

Amputation can affect an individual physically and psychologically. It may have a negative impact on their ability to perform various daily tasks effectively. However, having an amputated leg or a hand does not mean that an individual will automatically qualify for disability benefits. Certain factors may make your claim stronger and help you to secure the benefits you deserve.

For instance, the SSA will consider your application for disability benefits if both of your arms have been amputated or if your leg has been amputated at the hip joint. For all other types of amputations, an applicant will need to prove how the condition hinders their ability to work. An individual may have a stronger case for getting disability benefits if they can provide evidence that showcases that their situation is medically complex and significantly affects their ability to work or perform basic daily tasks. 

Section 1.05 of the Blue Book covers amputations. To qualify for benefits under this listing, an applicant will have to meet the eligibility criteria set forth in the Blue Book. 

The SSA has listed the following criteria in the Blue Book relating to amputations. To get approved for disability benefits for amputations, an applicant should be able to meet one of the following requirements: 

  • The condition must have led to the amputation of both hands.
  • The individual underwent the amputation of one hand and one leg, which affects their ability to walk and perform daily activities.
  • The amputation involved one or both of the lower extremities and it included hip disarticulation. 

Does Leg Amputation Qualify for Disability?

There are many types of injuries and conditions that may make an individual eligible to receive disability benefits, depending on the severity of the condition and how it affects the person’s ability to work. Likewise, a leg amputation may qualify a person to receive disability benefits.

The SSA will consider a number of eligibility factors when it evaluates the severity of an applicant’s condition. It is recommended that anyone who may undergo a surgical amputation consult with a healthcare provider to determine whether it will likely result in disability. A healthcare provider can help you understand the basics of the eligibility criteria and how your situation fits in. 

If you meet the eligibility criteria for disability benefits, the SSA will approve your application. However, it is critical to understand that not all types of amputations are listed within the Blue Book. Even if your type of amputation is not listed, you may be able to get approved for certain disability benefits by applying for a medical-vocational allowance. 

Seeking a medical-vocational allowance can be an effective alternative way to qualify for benefits after an amputation when you do not meet the Blue Book eligibility criteria. The Social Security Administration will consider numerous factors, including the type and amount of work you can perform with your disability. 

The SSA will consider your age, qualifications, and skills to determine whether you can perform any other type of work. If you do not have many transferable skills or qualifications for other types of work, your chances of getting approved for disability benefits may increase. The general rule is that the lower the RFC, the higher the chance of qualifying for benefits. 

Medical Evidence for Proving Disability 

Whether you meet the Blue Book criteria for disability or you apply for benefits via a medical-vocational allowance, you will be required to provide appropriate medical evidence. Without robust medical evidence of your disabling condition, the SSA will not consider your application for approval. Below are some of the types of medical evidence that you may be asked to submit for proving your disability: 

  • X-ray reports
  • CT scan and MRI reports 
  • Blood tests and tissue samples
  • Notes from your healthcare provider
  • Medical history 
  • Prescription and treatment

In addition to providing the documentation listed above, your disability must have lasted for at least 12 months. If you cannot satisfy these requirements, there is a chance that the SSA will automatically reject your application, precluding you from receiving the benefits you need.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits for Amputations

If you have experienced an amputation, you can apply for benefits through either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), depending on which eligibility criteria you can meet. To be eligible for SSI benefits, an applicant must have little to no income, as well as limited resources. If you have a history of working and paying into the Social Security tax system, you can consider applying for SSDI benefits. 

You would just have to fill an application form to proceed with a claim for benefits. You can either complete the form online or call your local Social Security Office. It is often recommended to contact a legal professional before beginning the process of completing the application to help increase your chances of avoiding unnecessary denials along the way.