Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Surgery on limbs and the chance of being approved for disability

If you have major surgery on one or more limbs, do you have a shot at getting disability benefits?

It really depends on your level of functionality and on how this is thought to affect your ability to engage in your past work, and your ability to transition to other types of work that are considered suitable based on your age, skills, education,and rated functional limitations.

For example, a disability examiner reads your medical records to determine your level of residual functional capacity (RFC). The rating you are given is compared to the demands of your past work (which is why it is important to give SSA a good detailed work history) to find out if you are able or unable to go back to a past job. If you can't do this, and you also can't do some type of other work, you may be approved.

Basically, having surgeries on arms or legs may or may not cause Social Security to find you disabled. It depends on your loss of function, i.e. the residual functional capacity you have remaining.

Very many individuals are found to be unable to go back to their past work as a result of the medical vocational decision process used by SSA, but are then denied on the basis of being able to do some type of other work based on their skills and education. This is, in part, why so many cases are denied at the first two levels of the system and then go to the hearing level where the case can be argued for approval.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Social Security Disability, SSI, and Residual Functional Capacity, RFC
Proving Functional Limitations and why this is Important on a Disability Case
What does social security mean by past work?
What Does Social Security Disability and SSI Include As Your Past Work?
If you are denied for disability, is this based on your ability to do your past work?
What does social security mean by other work?
What Does It Mean If you Are Denied For Disability Because You can do Other Work?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Social Security Disability SSI Requirements, Criteria, Eligibility
How to file for disability, How to apply for SSD or SSI benefits
Who will qualify for disability? - What qualifying is based on
Social Security Disability - Permanent Disability
How to Claim Disability Benefits through Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply for?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status on a pending claim
Working and Disability - Are You Allowed to Work While Receiving Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it