Filing a disability benefits claim for an amputation might make it seem likely that the claim should receive approval from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the SSA denies a majority of claims and even for cases that involve an amputation, the federal agency has denied Social Security disability benefits claims. The reason for many of the denied claims for amputation is the SSA conducts an assessment that determines if an amputee can complete the job functions of another occupation.
You can get your disability benefits claim approved for an amputation by learning about the five signs that help amputees receive financial assistance from the SSA.
The 1st Sign
You need to gain enough work credits over the past 12 months to become eligible for disability benefits. The SSA calculates work credits based on the wages earned as an employee or the income generated as an independent contractor or a self-employed business operator. In 2020, American workers gain one work credit for every $1,410 earned in wages or self-employment income. The SSA determines the number of credits required to qualify for disability benefits by referring to the age of each applicant.
The 2nd Sign
The team of medical examiners at the SSA wants to see sufficient medical evidence that you have lost a limb. Medical documentation should come from sources that are approved by the SSA.
Here are a few medical records you should submit to the SSA for a disability benefits claim:
- Diagnostic tests
- Treatment records
- Thorough explanation of a rehabilitation program
A thorough explanation of a rehabilitation regiment should include mention of any use of a prosthetic to help you regain some of the capabilities you had before an amputation. Although a prosthetic limb may not get you back to work at your former job, it may help you transition to another occupation.
The 3rd Sign
As one of the five signs you may be approved for disability benefits, the SSA requires every claimant to have missed work for 12 consecutive months. The 12 consecutive months should be the most recent 12 consecutive months to give the team of medical examiners at the SSA a better idea about your medical condition. Your employer plays a pivotal role in helping you meet the 12-month criterion established by the SSA.
The 4th Sign
Under Section 1.05 of the Blue Book, the SSA lists everything you need to have to receive approval for an amputation claim. Although an amputation appears to be one of the more likely medical conditions to warrant approval of a disability benefits claim, the SSA wants every applicant to find an occupation that caters to their physical limitations. This means that if you underwent an amputation, you can expect the SSA to request you to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. Not only does an RFC assessment measure your physical capabilities at your current job, but it also determines whether another occupation is a good match for you.
The 5th Sign
When the time comes to submit a claim for disability benefits, you want to make sure you complete the claim accurately. An experienced Social Security lawyer can help you complete an accurate claim, as well as gather the medical evidence required to make your case with the SSA. Your Social Security attorney can also stay on top of your claim to ensure it receives the attention it deserves from the SSA.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with a Social Security lawyer.