How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Does recent surgery disqualify me from being approved on an application for disability?

I signed up for my Social Security Disability last week and have already had one phone conversation with my S.S. disability examiner.

My question is my doctors are pushing me to have joint replacement surgery in my rt. Knee. Can I do that while my application is active or does surgery disqualify me from my disability application? So, would I need to wait until after the disability decision to have the knee joint surgery?

Thanks so much, I really appreciate your website and got a lot of value from it.

I am not sure how to advise you with this matter. Firstly, you most certainly can have your joint replacement on your right knee during the disability process. It would not disqualify you. There are medical impairments such as stroke that can result in your claim effectively being put on hold for 3 months so that the disability examiner can have an opportunity to assess how your condition will resolve afterwards. Joint replacements are not in that category.

However, having the surgery may cause your disability claim to be denied on the basis that Social Security could expect your condition to improve to a level that you could perform work activity at a past job or another kind of job. It really just would depends on your residual functional capacity (what you are able to do in spite of the limitations cause by your disabling condition) after the surgery.

I would say it would not hurt to wait for a disability decision even if you have your knee replacement. You have already filed the disability claim and it takes time to get a decision. If you get denied, you can still appeal that decision if you are not able to get back to work.

Hopefully this is helpful information.

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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Criteria to Qualify
Who qualifies for disability? - Qualifying is based on evidence of functional limitations
Medical Disability Requirements for SSD and SSI
The non-medical Disability Requirements for SSD and SSI
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply for?
What are the Social Security Disability, SSI Requirements For How Disabled You Have to Be?
What types of information is Social Security Disability looking for?
Proving Functional Limitations and why this is Important on a Disability Case
Applying for Disability - Rules and Requirements when you Apply

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

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