Can I receive Social Security disability if I have had a limb amputated?

amputationAmputation can be a harrowing experience for a patient. The loss of an arm, hand, leg, or foot could cause someone to be disabled for only a few months, while others can suffer a permanent inability earn a living.

While the Social Security Administration (SSA) has made amputation a qualifying condition for disability payment, the amputation itself is often not enough to get a benefit application approved.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits After Amputation

Many amputees are able to regain lost mobility with the help of prosthetics and other assistive devices, allowing them to perform some kind of employment. The only way to collect Social Security disability benefits for amputation is if the condition makes it impossible for the amputee to earn a regular income.

Amputees may qualify for benefits by meeting the Social Security Administration’s:

  • Official impairment listing. Applicants will automatically be considered disabled if they've suffered the amputation of both hands; a hemipelvectomy or hip disarticulation; amputation of a lower extremity at or above the ankle with complications that make it impossible to use a prosthetic device to walk; or the amputation of one hand and one lower extremity at or above the ankle with the inability to walk unassisted.
  • Other listings. While some people lose limbs due to accidents, others have limbs surgically removed because of disease complications. If your amputation was a result of diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), cancer, or a congenital disorder, your amputation may be covered under a different classification.
  • Residual functional capacity (RFC). The SSA allows applicants to collect disability if their conditions have reduced the amount of work they can do. The SSA examines the person’s age, education, experience, past work history, and current physical abilities, and assigns a work rating called the RFC. If you're unable to perform the type of work you used to do, cannot perform sedentary work, or cannot be reasonably trained to adapt to new work, you could qualify for disability benefits under what’s called a medical-vocational allowance.

If you've been denied Social Security benefits, our attorneys can examine your claim and fight on your behalf to get your claim approved. Call us today or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation with a Social Security attorney.