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Can I Continue Working After An Amputation?

Sometimes an accident or a medical condition can lead to the amputation of a body part, such as an arm, leg, hand, or foot. If the amputation leaves you unable to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Having suffered an amputation doesn’t automatically qualify for disability benefits. Many amputations are performed surgically because of medical conditions, such as atherosclerosis or diabetes and that condition could lead to additional side effects and problems.

How An Amputation Affects Your Physical Capacity For Work

When you have an extremity amputated, it will have a physical affect on your ability to work and do your job. If you have had two amputations, such as a both hands, a leg through the hip joint, or a pelvic amputation, you will automatically qualify for disability benefits. For any other amputation, you must prove that you are unable to work. You must show that you cannot stand for long periods, or that you are unable to stay in one position for long without having to move and reposition yourself.

An amputation may keep you from lifting, carrying, grasping, reaching, standing, bending, or squatting. Any of these activities may be vital to your work duties and work performance. As an example, someone who has had an amputation may not be able to work construction anymore, drive a truck, or in some cases, handle sorting documents or basic bookkeeping duties.

Can I Continue Working After An Amputation?

How An Amputation Affects Your Mental Capacity For Work

If you have undergone an amputation, it can also affect you mentally. You may suffer from depression, stress, anxiety, and mental anguish. Losing an extremity, such as an arm or a leg, can be traumatizing. Often, medication is required to treat the mental impact of the condition. You may find that you have difficulty remembering things, you may not be able to concentrate or stay focused, you may not be able to complete a task, and you may have difficulty comprehending and following through with the instructions.

Amputation and Applying For Social Security Disability

If you have undergone an amputation and you are unable to work because of it, you may qualify for disability benefits. To qualify using the listing for amputations, you must have suffered one of the following:

  • Amputation of one or both lower extremities either at or above the ankle with stump complications resulting in the inability to use a prosthetic device for effective walking
  • Amputation of both hands
  • Amputation of one hand and one lower extremity at or above the ankle with the inability to walk effectively or
  • Hip disarticulation or hemipelvectomy

According to the SSA, the inability to walk effectively is needing both hands so a walker can be used, or needing both hands for crutches or canes to get where you need to go. Or, it could involve needing help to get to work or to use public transportation. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to have the details of your case reviewed by an attorney who handles disability claims in your state.

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