Patients who have had an extremity amputated may be unable to work because of their condition and its related complications. Patients who find themselves unable to work because of their amputation may qualify for long term disability (LTD) benefits. The insurance company will review their claim to see if they qualify under the conditions of that plan.
What Is Amputation?
Amputation is defined as the complete severance of a body extremity, such as a hand, foot, arm, or leg. The symptoms and limitations associated with having an amputated limb vary depending on which body part has been amputated. Amputations involving one’s feet or legs typically affect that person’s ability to walk, bend, climb stairs, and otherwise ambulate (move around). Amputations involving the hands and arms typically impact one’s ability to push, pull, or perform fine and gross motor functions. Moreover, many amputees experience pain in the area of the amputated limb which may impact one’s cognitive abilities, which include the person’s ability to think and concentrate.
Cause of Amputation
An amputation may occur during a medical operation or as the result of an accident, an injury, or some other form of trauma.
Amputations are often performed due to medical necessity. In some cases, the limb had become useless due to disease or another serious medical condition and an amputation is performed to prevent further medical complications or to prevent a spreading of the disease to other body parts. Some of the more common reasons why doctors will perform amputations include:
- Diabetes (though most diabetics do not require an amputation)
- Frostbite (severe)
- Hardened arteries
- Embolism of the arteries
- Buerger’s disease
- Raynaud’s disease
Filing For Long Term Disability Insurance Benefits with an Amputation
As with any other medical condition, to qualify for long term disability insurance benefits with an amputated limb or extremity, you must show that your condition causes you to be unable to perform functions that are important in the work place such as lifting, bending, walking, grasping, pushing, and pulling. Proof of such impairments depends on which limbs have been amputated and the type of work (heavy, moderate, light, sedentary) that you were performing or could be expected to perform.
The following are a examples of amputations that would significantly impact one’s ability to perform work activity:
- Loss of both hands
- The loss of a lower limb above the ankle (tarsal region) with complications that medically prevent the person from using a prosthetic device to help him or her walk and effectively ambulate
- Loss of one hand and one lower limb above the ankle with the resulting inability to use a prosthetic device
- Loss of an entire leg at the hip or pelvic region
Again, these are just examples. You will need to show how your amputation affects your ability to perform work activity. The LTD insurance adjuster assigned to your claim will take into account how your amputation affects your ability to perform daily tasks. It is important that your medical records and other documentation demonstrate that you cannot effectively use a prosthetic device and why. Your doctor’s medical report should also identify any and all restrictions you have with your daily activities that are the result of your amputation (and/or any other medically verifiable conditions that you may have).
Your Amputation Disability Case
If your amputation disability claim has been denied or terminated, you should call an experienced long term disability attorney to assist you in your claim. Mr. Ortiz is an experienced disability lawyer and may be able to assist you. Call (888) 321-8131 for a consultation.