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Mom denied Social Security disability benefits despite amputation

Social Security disability benefits are available to individuals who have been injured or suffered a medical condition that renders them unable to work. The Social Security Administration reviews each application for benefits and makes a determination regarding whether an applicant qualifies for SSD benefits. Unfortunately for one mother of five who is disabled, the SSA determined that she did not meet the Agency's requirements to receive benefits.

The mother's disability arose after she contracted sepsis and barely survived. Initially, she had a case of the flu which subsequently turned into sepsis. Sepsis is a complication that can arise following an infection and can be life-threatening, causing an individual's organ systems to fail. Doctors had to amputate both of her arms, one of her legs, and the foot of her other leg.

Despite the clear limitations that the loss of three limbs would impose on a person, the SSA denied Social Security disability benefits to her due to her current role as a stay-at-home mom. Previously, she had spent nine years working, but as of the time of her application she had spent the previous ten years as a stay-at-home mom. The SSA thus concluded that the woman did not meet the work requirement necessary to successfully claim SSD benefits. Her husband has since had to hire five individuals to complete the tasks his wife was once able to do.

This is a heartbreaking case, and, unfortunately, the SSA does deny many initial applications for benefits. Many applicants, though, are able to navigate the appeals process and eventually obtain benefits. Legal counsel is essential in such a situation to ensure that an applicant presents a thorough and well-documented case to the SSA.

Source: WNYT, "Stay-at-home mom denied disability benefits," Sep. 2, 2016

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