Disability benefits for amputation of a limb is available from the SSA under certain circumstances. You might believe that the amputation of a limb would automatically qualify you for disability benefits. But it doesn’t. Only certain types of amputations qualify for benefits.
For example, the amputation of your foot at the ankle joint does not qualify disability benefits. Instead, to qualify for disability benefits you need to have an amputation of your arm and your leg. For example, SSA’s rules state to qualify for benefits you must have an amputation of your arm, occurring at the level above the wrist, AND amputation of your leg. Also, the leg amputation must be at or above your ankle. Finally, you must need to use a cane or hand-held assistive device in your remaining hand in order to walk. Or, you need to use a wheelchair.
SSA’s disability rules with regard to amputation are harsh. Especially when you consider that amputations are more common in the United States than ever before. According to the Amputee Coalition, around 2 million Americans currently live with limb loss. Of those people, at least 50% lost one or more limbs to a vascular disease like diabetes. Accidents, equipment malfunctions, or other types of trauma cause the other half of amputations. Additionally, almost half of those people with amputations suffer trauma in the affected limb.
AMPUTATION AND PROSTHETICS
Amputation is a difficult thing to adjust to. It can cause problems with some of our most basic activities, like walking, sitting, and standing. If you have an arm amputation, it impacts your ability to lift, carry, and perform fine finger activities. Complications at the amputation site are also disruptive to daily life. The SSA’s rules make it difficult to obtain disability benefits, because prosthetics can stand in for the missing limb.
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