Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits after Joint Surgery?

People often ask us whether their condition qualifies for SSDI. Generally speaking, Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, can help people who are disabled and no longer able to work. At Summit Disability Law Group, our attorneys regularly help people receive these disability benefits.

If you have had surgery to help with your joint problems and are left with a long recovery process, you may be eligible for disability benefits. This page explains how you can get Social Security disability benefits after joint surgery.

Joints are what allow us to use our limbs. When they are not working properly, it can be impossible to work and earn money. If you find yourself in this situation, contact Summit Disability Law Group! We can guide you through the process to get the benefits you need to support yourself.


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What Kinds of Joint Surgery Qualify for Benefits?

Your chances for benefits depend on the details of your surgery. There are several requirements in order for you to qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration outlines these requirements in their “listing of impairments.” The SSA will review your case to see if it meets the points in their listing.

The first requirement has to do with the type of joint surgery you underwent. It must be one of the following types of surgery:

  • Reconstructive surgery

There are several different procedures that fall under this category. Reconstructive joint surgeries can include complete replacements, as well as minor fixes. If you have a reconstructive joint surgery and are unable to work for a long period of time, you may be eligible for benefits.

  • Surgical arthrodesis

Arthrodesis is a type of joint surgery in which two bones in a joint are fused together. Doing this can help relieve pain if the joint is not moving properly. If a joint arthrodesis prevents you from working and earning money, you may qualify for benefits.

Prior to your surgery, the joint must have prevented you from being able to “ambulate effectively.” This means that the affected joint prevented you from walking without a walker, crutches, or a cane. The purpose of the surgery, then, must be to fix the joint so that you can walk enough to complete daily activities.

If you can still not walk without a walker, crutches, or a cane after your surgery, you may be eligible for benefits. If your joint problems prevent you from working for at least 12 months (including time before and after the surgery), you may qualify for SSDI.

Does it Matter Which Joint was Operated On?

It is possible to receive Social Security disability benefits after joint surgery, but does it matter which joint was affected? In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your surgery must have been performed on a “major, weight-bearing joint.” Major, weight-bearing joints include the following.

  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Ankles

As we discussed above, the joint problems leading to your surgery must prevent you from walking independently and working for at least 12 months. This time can include months before and after your surgery.

The SSA will most likely assume that your surgery will be successful. Even if your condition has not improved several months after your surgery, they may deny your claim based on this assumption. However, do not let this stop you from trying to get the benefits you need. The disability lawyers at Summit Disability Law Group can help you build a strong case at every step of the process.

Can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help Me Win My Claim?

The short answer is, yes. If you are disabled and unable to work, the best thing you can do for your benefits claim is hire an experienced disability lawyer. The disability claims process may seem simple, but it can quickly become complex and frustrating. Many claims are initially denied. In fact, only about 20% of applications for Social Security disability benefits are successful on the first try.

Don’t let these statistics discourage you. Hiring a lawyer can increase your chances to win at the initial stage. Even if you do not win then, many claims are successful after appeals. The experienced attorneys at Summit Disability Law Group can help you build your strongest case, no matter what stage of the process you are in.

Living with a disability can be physically, mentally, and financially draining. We understand that the thought of paying for a lawyer can seem overwhelming. We strive to provide affordable legal help. The following resources are available to help you find peace of mind during your claim.

  • Free case consultations

If you want to speak with a disability lawyer, schedule a free consultation with us today! Together, we will discuss your case and your chances for benefits with no strings attached.

  • No upfront fees

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not pay us unless we win your case! We believe that you should only pay us legal fees if we are able to get you the benefits you need.

  • Free handbook

We wrote The Utah Social Security Disability Handbook to help people in Utah understand their rights in disability cases. It explains the law in simple terms, not legal jargon. You can order your copy today by clicking on the title above!

Summit Disability Law Group: We Can Help You Win Your Claim!

If you are wondering if you can get Social Security disability benefits after joint surgery, the answer may be yes. An experienced disability lawyer at Summit Disability Law Group can help you know for sure. Unlike many law firms, we focus 100% on representing disability claimants. Your case has our full attention. If you would like to schedule a free case consultation, please contact us today!
You can also schedule a consultation by filling out the form on the top-right side of this page. Or, you can call our main Draper office at (801) 845-0056.
SSDI provides essential help to millions of people. If a disability prevents you from working and supporting yourself, you may be entitled to benefits. We look forward to helping you win your case!

Image by James Heilman, MD