Do you want to know the most important secret about Social Security disability benefits? The term “disabled” in itself doesn’t really mean much to the Social Security Administration. You have to prove…not that you are disabled…but that your medical condition prevents you from sustaining a job. 

A good example of this is amputation. The fact that you have lost a body extremity does not automatically qualify you for disability benefits, except in a few specific situations. The Social Security's Blue Book lists all qualifying disorders and specifies accompanying medical standards that need to be met to be awarded benefits. Two of the four of the listings in the amputation category are simple to determine. They are amputation of both hands or a pelvic amputation. The other two—amputation of one or both lower extremities or the amputation of one hand and one lower extremity—are a little harder to determine because you must also prove that you have an inability to walk effectively. What “walking effectively” exactly means can be subjective.

For all other amputations you must prove to Social Security that your loss of one or more extremities makes it impossible for you to work. Social Security uses a Residual Functional Capacity form to assess how your ability to work is affected by your physical impairments. Your age, education level, and work experience will also be considered when determining if you are able to work.

Applying for disability benefits is notoriously tricky and time-consuming. Generally, the more medical information you provide Social Security, the more likely you are to qualify for disability benefits. Be prepared to provide an in-depth look into your medical history supported by x-rays, CT and MRI scans, physical therapy notes, and blood tests.

Because the Social Security disability process is both complicated and often confusing, you may want the help of an attorney who focuses exclusively on disability law. They can help strengthen your case and reduce the risk of costly mistakes. At Cuddigan Law we’re in your corner and will fight for your rights. Contact us by phone, email, or through our website to arrange a free evaluation of your situation.