A torn ACL, which is largely associated with sports injuries, occurs when ligaments are torn in the knee. The knee joint is formed where the femur and tibia meet at the kneecap. The ACL is a small, but very important ligament that stabilizes the knee.
Signs that you have torn your ACL include:
- A loud popping sound during physical activity
- Intense pain
- Inability to bear weight
The Social Security Disability Application Process with a Torn ACL
A torn ACL is extremely painful and permanently affects the mobility of the knee and leg. A torn ACL can affect your ability to work, especially if your job requires that you stand, walk, or carry heavy items. It is difficult to receive SSD benefits for a torn ACL, so before applying, be sure to consider the following:
Previous Work Experience – If your past jobs have required heavy lifting, kneeling, crawling or crouching, it will likely be impossible for you to return to work. The SSA will evaluate your maximum sustained work capability to determine if you are capable of being retrained to work a less physically demanding job.
Surgery – In many cases, those who have suffered a torn ACL require extensive surgery. If your surgery and healing process lasts longer than 12 consecutive months, you may be eligible for SSD.
Arthritis – Those who tear their ACL have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. If you have developed this condition, and can no longer walk without assistance, your Social Security Disability claim will have a greater chance of being approved.
Pain and Immobility – In some cases, surgeries and treatments restore all mobility and relieve all pain. In other cases the injured area remains immobile or in a constant state of pain. The severity of your symptoms and immobility will dictate the future of your Social Security Disability case.
Medical Documentation Necessary to Receive Social Security Disability Benefits
To qualify for disability benefits, you will need to provide thorough medical evidence that demonstrates the limitations of your condition. You will need to provide all relevant medical history from each physician that has treated your torn ACL. Documentation includes:
- Imaging reports from MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays
- Doctors’ notes detailing your progress and symptoms
- History of treatments and your response to these treatments
- List of medications taken and any side effects experienced
- Any other relevant medical reports
Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney for Your Torn ACL Application
Even though a torn ACL is a serious and debilitating injury, it does not often result in approval for disability benefits. The SSA assumes that those who have suffered from a torn ACL will be able to recover and go back to work in six months or less, and therefore do not quality for assistance. However, there are many circumstances in which a torn ACL makes it impossible for the injured party to return to work.
If a torn ACL has prevented you from working and you wish to apply for disability benefits, a Social Security Disability attorney will be one of your greatest assets. He or she will provide professional, legal representation and the guidance needed to submit a strong SSD application.