The Social Security Administration looks at amputation cases by asking the question: how well does the amputee function with their prosthesis? If you are less than 50 years old and your only limitation is the amputation of an arm or one leg, your case may be difficult to present unless there is an unusual problem with a prosthesis. Sometimes, there may be a problem with what is known as phantom pain (painful sensations as if the limb were still there). If you are 50 years old or older, with the only limitation of one arm amputated, then the outcome of your case may depend on the particular judge. If you are 50 years old or older, with the only limitation of one leg amputated, then you will have a strong case to present to the Social Security Administration. For this last category, if the amputation was above the knee, then the case is very strong.
- Common Issues In Amputation Cases:
- How much of the limb has been amputated
- Is the ability to move around affected
- Was the amputation above the knee or below the knee
- Is there difficulty using the prosthesis
- Is there phantom pain (as if the limb were still there)
- Has the stump shrunk creating a prosthesis fitting problem
- Are there back problems associated with a leg amputation (caused by abnormal gait)
Sometimes the problem in preparing for a hearing is that the treating orthopedic surgeon may not be the one that does the fitting for the prosthesis and therefore may not have all of the records that are associated with the case. Private companies or facilities are the ones that normally do the prosthesis fitting and many times their record keeping ability may be lacking. If this is the problem then the amputee will need to go back to the treating orthopedic surgeon or other doctor to address this lack of evidence on the fitting problem. The records from the orthopedic surgeon or doctor can then be requested to prove the fitting problem.