Hip replacements can be a huge source of physical, mental, emotional, and financial strain. Trouble can arise from the thousands of dollars it costs for the procedure itself, to the variety of diagnostic tests required beforehand, to the prolonged healing time most patients need after surgery.
If your hip replacement continues to prevent you from working or living your daily life, then Social Security benefits may be an option for you. Continue below to learn the three best tips for applying for benefits for a hip replacement.
Tip #1: Compile all documents that show the longevity of your hip problems and hip surgery.
One of the most important aspects of applying for disability benefits is proving to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that your disability has lasted, or will continue to last, for longer than a year. For hip replacements, this year of disability officially begins after your hip surgery. Any evidence you can provide attesting to this disability is extremely useful on your application.
Things like therapy session notes, physician’s notes from follow-up appointments, medication lists, or post-surgery hospitalization records can help demonstrate your continued disability to the SSA. Even medical evidence from before the surgery can help demonstrate your history and improve your chances for benefits.
Tip #2: Receive an up-to-date motor function test or RFC test to demonstrate your functional ability.
When the SSA evaluates an applicant, they want to be sure their information is as up-to-date as possible. This means receiving updated test results on your condition to help the SSA better understand your needs. Motor function tests are especially useful in hip replacement cases, as they can demonstrate an applicant’s continued inability to care for themselves independently post-surgery. RFCs (residual functional capacity tests) can also be beneficial here. These tests can be performed by any licensed physician to measure a person’s ability to perform daily tasks (lifting, bending, sitting/standing, walking, etc.) The lower your score on an RFC test, the more likely the SSA will find you eligible for benefits.
Tip #3: Continue to update the SSA even after your application has been submitted.
Some people assume that the disability benefits application process ends after your application has been submitted. However, especially for applicants with time-reliant disabilities like hip replacements, continuous updates are incredibly important. Because most applicants wait a period of months before hearing a decision on their case, the SSA appreciates additional documentation which can be used to update a file during this time. This also shows dedication on your part and may influence the SSA’s decision on your application.
Contacting an Attorney
There are a variety of moving pieces in a disability application that can make it difficult to complete correctly. To ensure you have the best chance at receiving benefits, consider speaking with a disability attorney. Their knowledge of the application process is unmatched and can help you to keep financial and medical documents organized. Unlike most attorneys, they are also regulated by federal law to only receive payment if you win your case.
To improve your chances of getting disability benefits of your hip replacement, schedule a free consultation with a disability attorney before you apply.