Amputation is a surgical removal of part of or the totality of an extremity or limb. The most common amputation surgeries involve the leg. Amputations can be necessary when people experience inadequate blood flow, serious infections, frostbite, severe injuries, and cancerous tumors. If you have had an amputation and are disabled from working as a result, you may be able to file a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim. Even valid SSDI claims may be denied, making it important to consult an experienced Chicago Social Security attorney about your situation.Amputations
Amputations can leave a person unable to work, depending on what their job is. For example, if you work in construction and both of your arms are amputated as a consequence of a serious car accident, you may not be able to work again. Simply having an extremity amputation won’t make you eligible for SSDI, however, with certain exceptions as set forth in the listing. In most cases, you’ll need to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) you’re not able to work.Listing
The SSA specifies certain circumstances in which you can get an automatic qualification for benefits. Listing 1.05 is an official impairment listing for amputation. Even if you don’t meet the criteria of the official listing, you may be able to show that your disability makes work impossible.
The listing requires you to show: (1) both your hands were amputated, (2) both or at least one lower extremity at or higher than the ankle with complications of the stump resulting in you being unable to use a prosthetic to effectively walk, (3) hip disarticulation or hemipelvectomy. You’ll be considered unable to effectively walk if you need both hands to use a walker, a cane, crutches, or use public transportation or need help getting to work. An issue may arise as to whether a prosthetic limb can help you perform daily living tasks, work, or walk.
Most people don’t meet the impairment listing for amputation. However, even if you don’t meet those criteria, you may be able to obtain disability benefits where amputation has resulted in a reduction of functional capacity so that there isn’t work you’re able to do in light of your experience, education, and age. The SSA will look at your medical records from your treating doctor to evaluate your entitlement to SSDI on the basis of amputation.
The SSA gives claimants a residual functional capacity, which gives a sense of what kind of work the Administration believes you can do based on the amputation and what restrictions your doctor has given you. The work you can do with an amputation may vary. For some claimants, only sedentary work can be performed, and that usually means you can’t stand or walk for 6-8 hours every day. For others, medium work may be doable. Doctors may provide that you can’t crawl. The residual functional capacity will allow the SSA to determine if there are jobs available you could do. If your residual functional capacity is low, there will be fewer jobs you’re able to do. However, the SSA may presume you can learn to function in a new line of work. A dedicated SSDI lawyer can help you navigate this process.SSDI Benefits
There is presumptive disability where two of your limbs are amputated or where you have a leg amputated at the hip. The SSDI benefits are then paid right away and will last until the claim is denied or approved for up to 6 months.Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney for Your SSDI Claim
If you have suffered an amputation such that you can no longer work, a skillful SSDI lawyer in Chicago can help you assess your legal options. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent disabled people with claims and appeals Rockford, Champaign, Aurora and Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, Adams, and Kane Counties. We look closely at the circumstances of our clients’ disabilities to determine whether there are also other avenues for relief. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.