What Are the Benefits of Applying For SSDI After an Amputation?

Having a part of your body amputated represents one of the most devastating medical operations. The life-changing medical procedure can result from a serious accident, an infection, or the consequences of another type of illness. Whatever the reason for an amputation, the medical procedure requires patients to seek several accommodations that help them adapt to their new lives.

Although some amputees restart their lives, the fact remains most amputees cannot work at the same job they held before surgery. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers financial assistance to help amputees recover physically and emotionally, as well as pay for daily living expenses.

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance

The SSA refers to a medical book called the Blue Book, which determines whether a medical condition like an amputation is serious enough to approve an application for disability benefits. According to the Blue Book, the medical criteria needed to approve an application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that covers an amputation is listed in Section 1.05. The SSA not only considers an amputation, the agency also looks for co-morbidities that contributed to the need to perform surgery.

When you fill out an SSDI application, you should do much more than fill in the blanks on the form. You also should attach persuasive medical evidence that demonstrates an amputation has made it impossible to hold down the job you previously worked. All your healthcare providers need to send the SSA evidence that includes the results of diagnostic tests, as well as the type of treatments used to improve your condition. One of the keys to convincing the SSA to approve an SSDI application for an amputation is to send a photograph of the devices you use to get around. For example, if you use a wheelchair that requires a special vehicle for grocery shopping, make sure you add that information on your SSDI application.

Medicare and SSDI Benefits

If you have reached the age of 65 and you receive SSDI benefits, you should learn how SSDI impacts your Medicare eligibility. Federal law stipulates that anyone receiving SSDI benefits and has qualified for Medicare healthcare insurance has to wait two years until Medicare starts paying for medical expenses. The reasoning behind the law is SSDI benefits offer medical services that exceed what Medicare covers. If you receive SSDI benefits and become eligible for Medicare, stick with SSDI because of the comprehensive coverage it provides.

Getting Back to Work

An amputation does not mean your professional career is over. It just means you might have to pursue another career that matches the physical limitations you have because of an amputated limb. The SSA manages two back-to-work programs called Ticket to Work and Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS). Both programs help amputees productively return to the workforce. Ticket to Work helps move SSDI recipients towards the goal of financial independence by referring amputees to services that support reentering the workforce.

With the right accommodations, it is possible to return to your old job.


Request a Free Case Evaluation

The stakes are too high for you to go it alone when the time comes to submit an SSDI application. A state-licensed disability attorney can offer a free case evaluation to determine what additional evidence, if any, you need to submit with your SSDI application. Your lawyer will also closely monitor the progress of your application to ensure it receives the timely attention that it deserves.

Additional Resources

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