Does SSA Qualify Amputation as a Disability?
Social Security disability benefits are available to individuals who have suffered loss of a limb, regardless of the cause. To be eligible for these benefits, one must demonstrate an inability to work due to the amputation for at least 12 months. When determining whether an individual meets these criteria, Social Security will look at both their medical records and their vocational factors (such as age and type of work), and compare them against the listings of disorders that qualify. Additionally, the time prior to the amputation and during recovery may also be taken into account when making a determination.
How Do I Get Approved for Benefits with Amputation?
Social Security will find a disabled individual eligible for benefits if they have amputation that meets the criteria in the official listing, which outlines five types of amputations—amputation of one or both legs (at or above the ankle), amputation of one leg and one arm (at or above the wrist), amputation of both hands or arms (at or above the wrist), hip disarticulation, and hemipelvectomy. Automatic approval for disability benefits is granted to those who have undergone surgery for any three of these items.
For those with an amputated leg, further criteria must be met, such as long-term complications in the residual limb, inability to use a prosthesis, and documentation regarding walking assistance with devices such as walkers, crutches, canes, or wheelchairs that require two hands. Additionally, applicants may need to provide proof they are unable to use their remaining arm for independent work involving small and large movements.