Everyday People Matter

Do All Types of Amputations Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

| May 21, 2017 | Amputation, Social Security Administration (SSA)

Losing a limb is an extremely traumatic situation for any person.  While many amputees do receive social security disability benefits, not all types of amputations qualify.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines certain criteria that an amputee must meet in order to qualify for disability benefits. For instance, if your amputation involves both hands, one or both legs above the ankle, one leg up to the hip level, one hand and one leg, or a pelvic amputation, you may qualify for benefits. The cause of the amputation does not matter.

If you suffer from any other type of amputation, you may or may not qualify for benefits. For instance, if you have suffered an amputation of your dominant hand which you use to perform most of your tasks, you may qualify for benefits. In such cases, SSA will specifically focus on whether your amputation or your disability makes it difficult for you to work and earn a sustainable income.

If you have suffered a leg amputation, but are able to walk with the help of a prosthetic device, the Social Security Administration may determine that you are not eligible for benefits.  The agency will further investigate the type of job that you can perform with your limitations. Remember, the amputation may have left you incapable of performing certain types of jobs, but there may be other types of work environments in which you can function successfully.

If, however, the agency has no reason to believe that you can perform any kind of job at all, it will typically use the medical vocational allowance doctrine to approve your Social Security disability benefit claim.