I’ve had an amputation. Do I qualify for disability benefits?

Dec 20, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Going through a health situation that requires the removal of any body part can be a traumatic and life-altering experience. Whether it has been triggered by an infection, a lifestyle condition like diabetes or an accident, an amputation comes with many adjustments to your life. 

While some people may carry on with a relatively quality life after an amputation, others may experience difficulty working or functioning as they used to. As such, one of the questions you might have after an amputation is whether you qualify for disability benefits. Here’s what you should know:

What the SSA says about amputations and disability benefits

With a couple of exceptions, an amputation, in and of itself, might not automatically qualify you for disability benefits. These exceptions include the amputation of both hands, amputation at the hip joint or a pelvic amputation. An amputation for one of both lower extremities that renders you unable to use prosthetic devices or a cane to move around can also qualify for SSD benefits. 

For other amputations to qualify for disability benefits, you must prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you cannot work. While the SSA has a checklist of what is covered, they might still require you to prove that the amputation has rendered you disabled. 

The medical evidence of a disability

The Social Security Administration will ask for your medical records from your doctor detailing the nature of your amputation as well as your ability to move with the help of a prosthetic device. The doctor’s report should also indicate any future limitations or complications you are likely to experience following the amputation. 

Life comes with its share of uncertainties. If you lose a limb following an accident or illness, you need to explore your eligibility for disability benefits.