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Can you get Social Security Disability for broken bones?

Working in some occupations can risk injury, including breaking one or more bones. Sometimes a broken bone does not turn out to be serious, and you recover within days. Unfortunately, some workers suffer serious bone injuries and aftereffects arising from their condition.

If a broken bone makes it impossible to perform your job duties, it could make it hard to earn a living. The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits to those who cannot work due to a medical condition. You may qualify if your injured bone meets Social Security criteria.

Severity and duration matter

Social Security evaluates the severity and expected duration of your condition. A simple fracture that heals within a few months will likely not qualify. However, complicated breaks involving surgery, pins or extensive rehab have a better chance, especially if the recovery takes a year or longer.

Social Security also reviews how your broken bone affects your residual functional capacity to perform work activities. These can include determining your ability to walk, stand, lift, carry, push and pull, among other relevant actions. Significant limitations on these activities can bolster your claim.

Listed impairment criteria

The SSA maintains a listing of impairments that automatically qualify for disability. Most broken bones do not meet a listed criteria without additional complications. However, injuries involving nerve damage, complex hand or arm fractures limiting fine motor skills, or broken bones that cause inability to ambulate effectively have stronger cases.

Comprehensive medical records detail your diagnosis, treatment plan, limitations and response to therapy. Objective testing like X-rays and scans confirm the severity. Written opinions from your treating physicians also carry weight. In addition to medical criteria, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a long period to receive benefits. There are also income limits based on your household situation.

The SSA decides each case individually based on the specific evidence provided. While most routine broken bones heal in under a year, those with severe complications or permanent limitations have a legitimate chance of approval.