Maybe you hurt your knee playing basketball as a teenager, or perhaps your hip has become increasingly painful as you have aged. There are numerous reasons why people undergo joint replacement surgery, just like there are many different kinds of joint replacements that occur.
One thing that is standard across all of these procedures is that they are expensive and require a substantial amount of recovery time. You may have to take a protracted leave of absence from your career, and you may also face major restrictions on your work function even after you can potentially go back to work.
Can you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits when you need to have a joint replacement surgery?
Procedures on weight-bearing joints may qualify someone for SSD
Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) does provide a list of numerous conditions likely to qualify someone for SSD benefits, every applicant will receive individual consideration. Conditions that are debilitating and some may present only minor symptoms other, which means that conditions that are not always debilitating often require more documentation for successful claims.
You will have to provide and not just diagnostic and treatment information but also medical documentation regarding the impact of your condition. The surgical replacement of a weight-bearing joint such as a knee or a hip could qualify someone for SSD benefits. However, the condition itself and your recovery will have to last long enough for you to receive benefits.
Your recovery must take a year or longer
In addition to being sufficiently debilitating, your medical condition has to persist for at least a year or indefinitely to qualify for SSD benefits. Depending on the kind of replacement procedure you have and the severity of the issue prior to the procedure, your recovery could very well last more than a year.
You may need treatment prior to the surgery, followed by a stay in a rehabilitation facility. You will likely also have to undergo months of physical therapy to regain strength and preserve your range of motion in the recently replaced joint. During that time, you may not be able to work at all.
Understanding when you might qualify for SSD benefits can help you avoid long-term financial consequences from major medical issues.