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Does a work-related amputation qualify for Social Security disability?

Amputation is painful, expensive, and life-changing. The long-term physical and emotional effects, including depression and mobility issues, may drastically reduce your quality of life or make it impossible to go back to work. You may have suffered an amputation while on a New York worksite or had to undergo amputation surgery after a NYC work-related injury. Regardless of the details, you do not automatically qualify for Social Security disability. On top of that, the disability process can be time-consuming and complicated. As experienced New York Social Security disability lawyers, we want to answer your questions about amputation so that you can get the help you need to continue to provide for yourself and your family.

How does a work-related amputation happen?

A work-related amputation generally happens one of two ways:

  • Traumatic amputation: A traumatic amputation occurs at the worksite when the body part is severed directly in the accident. For example, a worker's hand is severed in a saw accident.
  • Severe injuries: With some severe injuries, the limb cannot be spared, and an amputation takes place in the hospital after the accident. This may be immediate or happen long after the accident if the limb is not healing properly. An example of this would be an arm that has been badly mangled in a machine accident and cannot be saved.

What about Social Security disability?

For a New York work-related amputation to qualify for Social Security disability, it must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Amputation of both hands;
  • Amputation of one or both legs/feet at or above the ankle, with a medical inability to use a prosthesis due to stump complications, which must last, or be expected to last, at least one year;
  • Amputation of one hand and one leg/foot at or above the ankle, with an inability to ambulate in a meaningful way;
  • A high-level pelvic amputation (hemipelvectomy) or removal of an entire leg by amputation through the hip joint (hip disarticulation). 

In addition, you may qualify for Social Security disability if you do not meet the above-mentioned conditions but have a medical inability to use a prosthesis or your amputation interferes with activities of daily living.

What can I do?

We recommend that you at least speak with an experienced New York workers' compensation attorney or Social Security disability lawyer. Call Markhoff & Mittman toll free at 855-614-4351 to schedule a free and confidential consultation today. It also may be worth taking the time to order one of our FREE books that explain what you need to know about Social Security disability and New York workers' compensation.

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