If you have suffered an amputation, then you know the hardships this disability can cause. Besides the obvious physical limitations and complications, losing a limb can cause mental problems like depression. And when an amputation interferes with your ability to work, financial hardship joins the other problems.
Fortunately, there is help for New England amputees through Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits. Amputees who need money to meet their living needs can turn to the SSA for relief. But, as Natick disability lawyers, we know applying for these benefits can be a challenge.
Qualifying After an Amputation
Generally, the SSA considers your amputation a qualifying condition if:
- You have had both hands amputated;
- One or both of your lower extremities were amputated at or above the tarsal region, with stump complications that make it impossible to use a prosthetic device to get around successfully. The complications need to be expected to last or have lasted at least 12 months;
- You have lost one hand and one lower extremity at or above the tarsal region, with the same inability to get around as defined above; or
- You have a hemipelvectomy or hip disarticulation.
There are several causes for amputation, some more frequent than others. Here is the breakdown:
- 76% are caused by disease. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) causes the most. PVD is defined as any condition that affects the circulation to the extremities. Diabetes is also a major cause of amputation because it can decrease the ability of the body to heal.
- 22% of amputations are caused by trauma. This trauma is usually because of vehicle accidents and workplace accidents, but a growing number of war veterans are amputees.
- 4% of amputations are due to congenital defects. Children born with no limb or a very short limb are considered amputees.
- Finally, 4% of amputations occur as a result of certain cancers and tumors, which are sometimes treated by amputation. This includes cancer in the bones or soft tissues and melanoma.
Every amputee should know that he or she is not alone, whatever the cause:
- About 1.7 million Americans live with the loss of a limb. This is around one in every 200.
- Most amputations happen to people over 65, mostly due to disease.
- When younger people have amputations, the cause is usually trauma.
- Men, in general, have more amputations than women.
- Diabetics have a 12-15% higher risk of amputation.
Talk to a Disability Lawyer
If you or someone you love has suffered an amputation that interferes with your ability to work, applying for SSA disability benefits may be the answer to your financial problems. The Natick disability lawyers at Keefe Disability Law have the experience and knowledge to lead you through the often frustrating application process. Call us toll free today at 888-904-6847 to schedule your free case review.