You can’t imagine that your disability application would be denied. After all, you cannot walk for more than a few steps, so you could never be expected to go back to work. You ordered copies of your test results from Bergan Mercy, hoping that they will be enough to convince the Social Security office that you cannot perform your job—there’s nothing left to do but wait, right?

SSDI Rules for Loss of Ambulatory Function

The Social Security Administration has strict rules on who can receive disability payments even though they may be unable to walk—and it is up to SSA to make the judgment on your impairment. Here are a few things the SSA will consider before making a determination on your disability:

  • Duration of injury. Your inability to walk or perform fine movements must either have lasted for twelve months or be expected to last for at least 12 months into the future.
  • Level of functional loss. SSA will examine how much functional loss you have sustained as a result of your injury. This may include an inability to walk, inability to perform fine movements, or the inability to move as a result of extreme pain.

How Will SSA Evaluate My Injury?

SSA will use the medical information in your application, as well as doctors’ opinions and other evidence you provide. They may also approve or deny your application based on your ability to perform the specific activities and functions, such as:

  • Ability to sustaining a reasonable walking pace over a distance necessary to do the activities of daily life.
  • Ability to travel without assistance to and from work or school

Generally speaking, your approval  will be based on how effectively you can perform the activities in your daily life without assistance. However, if you are completely unable to walk without the use of two canes or a walker, you will likely also be unable to climb stairs or use your hands while walking, making you less able to ambulate effectively.

Are you having trouble making your case to SSA? Download our free guide, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case, or leave a comment below to let us know what difficulties you face.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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