Disability benefits are intended for long-standing injuries that severely limit individuals’ capacity to work or actually keep them from working. It’s no surprise that broken bone claims are frequently rejected as the ailments aren’t severe enough. However, if you suffer a bone fracture and it causes additional health concerns that exacerbate your situation, it may be possible for you to receive disability benefits.
You’ll want to talk to disability lawyers to determine if you have a shot at making a successful claim. In the meantime, read this post to learn more about this topic.
Approval for disability benefits depends on how your bone injury heals
Generally, the degree and rate at which your fractured bone is healing will ascertain your eligibility for disability benefits.
Conditions for approval for leg and foot bone injuries
If you fractured your tarsal, tibia, or femur bones in particular, your application should be approved if:
- It’s been no less than six months since the bone injury;
- X-rays show that the bones did not fuse back together; and
- Your physician declares that you won’t be able to walk without crutches or a cane for at least one year.
However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is frequently of the opinion that individuals who have been injured will be able to walk a year after the accident. If your case satisfies the conditions above and your application is rejected, the SSA may be thinking that you’ll have recovered leg function within a year, thus you’ll suffer no significant restriction on your capacity to perform work-related activities.
Usually, if you are seeking disability benefits for a fractured leg, your application will only be granted if it has been more than one year since the leg injury occurred and you’re still unable to walk without implements. You can have an appeal hearing scheduled a year or more after the date of your leg injury, so you can have your application approved by then.
Can I bypass the appeal hearing?
If for whatever reason you can’t wait for the appeal hearing, you can try securing benefits by doing one of two things:
- Ask a judge to do an on-the-record (OTR) review.
Here, you’ll essentially argue that you’re clearly eligible for benefits since your medical records demonstrate that you are unable to walk one year after your bone injury.
- Ask a Social Security staff attorney to review your case.
If you have brand new evidence that was not available during the time you first applied for disability benefits, you can ask a Social Security staff attorney to review your application. This new evidence must show that your bone fracture will make you unable to walk for at least 12 months.
Conditions for approval for upper extremity injuries
You may be eligible for benefits if you have a broken ulna or radius in one of your arms. To be qualified, however, you must first accomplish the following:
- Provide an X-ray or other imaging test result that shows that your bone fracture has not yet healed
- Establish that a surgeon is treating your injury and is trying to bring back your arm’s function
- Demonstrate that the arm function you lost because of your injury has not yet been restored and that doctors do not expect you to regain it within a year
Please note that if your injury hasn’t improved after six months following a surgical procedure, the SSA is likely to believe it will not improve at all. Once they consider you to be taken out of active surgical management, they may rule you out of benefits consideration.
Other application considerations
If your fractured bone has not healed in several months and you were deemed unqualified to receive benefits based on your disability, you may still qualify based on how your injury dampens your capacity to work.
To illustrate, if you have difficulty lifting, pushing, pulling, or reaching up high because you broke your arm, indicate it on your application. If your muscles become atrophied as a result of part of the bone dying, you may lose partial or complete use of that arm. Bone fissures may cause arthritis and make it more difficult to utilize the joint that’s connected to the fractured bone.
Another concern to consider is the emotional toll of chronic discomfort. Pain, for example, might make it difficult to sleep; it may also make it more difficult to concentrate and cause mental fatigue. These factors may all have an influence on your ability to work.
As you can see, applying for disability benefits can be complicated and arduous, which is why you need the help of disability lawyers. They’ll guide you and help process everything so that your application goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
Apart from this if you are interested to know more about Social Security Facts: Do You Qualify for Disability Benefits? then visit our Education category.