Will Using a Prosthetic Keep Me from Receiving Disability Benefits?
Applying for disability benefits is challenging enough but not everyone realizes that maintaining disability benefits can also be challenging. When a medical condition improves, like with a prosthetic, disability benefits can be taken away in some cases. Finding out the criteria for this is important for maintaining your disability benefits. Talk to a Wilmington disability attorney if you have any questions.
DISABILITY BENEFITS CRITERIA FOR AMPUTATIONS
The disability benefits amputation criteria differ based on the type of amputation. These criteria are listed in the online Blue Book by the Social Security Administration (SSA) under the musculoskeletal conditions section. Losing two limbs like two hands or two legs tends to increase a person’s chances of receiving disability benefits.
This is because many of the criteria are based on how the amputation has impacted daily functioning. For example, the amputation of two hands is often sufficient to potentially qualify someone for disability benefits. Whereas the amputation of one limb requires additional criteria to be met:
- Inability to use the remaining extremity for work tasks
- Documented medical needs for assistive devices for walking
- Documented medical needs for wheeled or other seated mobility devices
The challenge is proving that amputation hinders work performance in a significant way. If someone can use an assistive device like a wheelchair or prosthetic, then they may not be eligible for benefits. This depends on whether they still struggle with work performance despite the use of one of these assistive devices.
One of the criteria that can help with this is the inability to use a prosthetic. For this to be considered by the SSA, there must be documented medical evidence. You may need to undergo an evaluation by your primary care doctor or through a consultative examination. These evaluations can be used to document your inability to use a prosthesis.
HOW PROSTHETICS AFFECT DISABILITY BENEFITS
Prosthetics can decrease a person’s chances of receiving disability benefits before or after disability benefits have started. A disability benefits application can be denied if the prosthetic allows the person to return to work or substantial gainful activity. Disability benefits can also be taken away if someone starts using a prosthetic that results in the same improvements.
One way you might be able to prevent this from happening is by proving ineffective ambulation. What ineffective ambulation measures are whether someone can walk, use transportation, or complete daily activities like shopping. You can have a professional conduct ambulation or range of motion tests to prove this.
Proving the prosthetic has not improved your condition is the main goal. Consider contacting a Wilmington disability lawyer to discuss other options for obtaining disability benefits when you have a prosthetic.
CONTACT EDELSTEIN MARTIN & NELSON
The risk of losing access to disability benefits can be stressful. Reach out to a Delaware disability lawyer if you are unsure whether your disability benefits will be taken away. Start by calling Edelstein Martin & Nelson by dialing (302) 295-5050 for a free consultation today. Our dedicated team of attorneys is ready to help you explore and take legal steps to increase your chances of receiving disability benefits.