Having a hip replaced may qualify you for disability benefits.
Author Attorney Greg Reed:
A hip replacement is a major surgery that can cause significant pain and inconvenience to the patient. In cases where a hip replacement is expected to result in an inability to walk for over a year, the patient may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
Hip replacement surgery is usually done in severe cases of arthritis, osteonecrosis, or injury.
When disease or injury limits the range of motion in the hip, an artificial replacement can offer the patient the ability to move with less pain.
While technology can provide many patients with the ability to walk again, the hip is one of the largest, most complicated joints in the body.
A replacement made of plastic or metal is unlikely to perfectly replicate the natural abilities of the hip. 95% of hip replacement patients experience pain relief, but there is a minority of patients who experience side effects that leave them worse off than they were before.
Most candidates for hip replacement surgery already are facing limited mobility.
However, when a hip replacement surgery fails, it can ruin the patient’s ability to walk. The Social Security Administration grants benefits for hip replacements on the basis of “effective ambulation”. Effective ambulation is more than just the ability to walk. The Social Security Administration recognizes that being able to walk around one’s home is not the same as being able to work. Effective ambulation is the ability to sustain a reasonable pace over a sufficient distance to carry out the activities of daily living. This means being able to travel without the use of assistive devices (walkers, crutches or canes) on rough or uneven surfaces and the ability to climb a few steps.
The Social Security Administration has a listing of disorders which qualify for benefits.
Hip replacements are specifically listed under Musculoskeletal System 1.03. If a hip replacement surgery results in “the inability to ambulate effectively…and return to effective ambulation did not occur, or is not expected to occur, within 12 months of onset” then the applicant is likely to be automatically approved for disability benefits. However, even if the applicant does not meet this standard, they may be potentially approved for benefits if they can show that their condition prevents them from working and is expected to prevent them from working for at least a year.
If you have had a hip replaced you may qualify for disability benefits. Contact an experienced Long Term Disability lawyer at 512-454-4000
Surgery is usually effective for relief of hip pain.
However, because of the risks involved, it is often used as last resort- after medications and lifestyle changes. A failed hip replacement surgery is an expensive and painful problem. A hip replacement procedure and subsequent physical therapy can cost $50,000 or more. Losing your ability to work after such an expense can be financially disastrous. While most hip replacement surgeries are successful, many are not. Older people in particular tend to take longer to recover and have a higher risk of complications after a hip replacement surgery.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.
The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.
- The Duration of Work test. Whether you have worked long enough to be covered under SSDI.
- The Current Work Test. Whether you worked recently enough for the work to actually count toward coverage.
The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
- Are you working? Your disability must be “total”.
- Is your medical condition severe? Your disability must be “severe” enough to interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, and remembering.
- Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments? The SSA has a “List of Impairments” that automatically qualify as “severe” disabilities. If your disease is not listed this does not mean you cannot get disability, it means you must prove you cannot maintain employment due to your limitations.
- Can you do the work you did before? SSDI rules look at whether your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did prior to developing the condition.
- Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do your prior work, an evaluation is made as to whether you can perform any other kind of work.
More details can be found on our Qualifying for Disability page.
If you have undergone hip replacement surgery, and are now unable to work, you may be entitled to Long Term Disability Insurance or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Applying for benefits can be a difficult process. Roughly two-thirds of initial claims are denied. Appealing a claim can take months or even years. It helps to have a long term disability lawyer on your side. The attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed have experience helping Texans win their disability claims. Our office services central Texas including Harris county, Bexar county, Denton county, and the cities of Dallas, Houston, and Austin. If you have a Long Term Disability claim or a Social Security Disability claim, contact our office today for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
Author: Attorney Greg Reed has been practicing law for 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion Gold rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Reed obtained board certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Greg is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the United States Court of Appeals-Fifth Circuit. Mr. Reed is a member of the Travis County Bar Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, past Director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and an Associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Reed and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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