Helping People With Disabilities Nationwide

Broken bones (fractures) are typically not a good basis to file for disability benefits, as they are not likely to meet Social Security Administration’s durational requirement for medical impairments.  To warrant disability, an impairment must last or be expected to last for a minimum of twelve continuous months or result in death. For most fractures, the acute healing process takes place in six to eight weeks. However, the complete healing process could take up to a year for some fractures such as a complex, comminuted fracture. In rare instances, fractures may lead to loss of mobility and persistent disability. Moreover, repeat fractures may compound the injury and result in malunion or nonunion.

When broken bones result in extreme limitations on the upper extremities or lower extremities for a period of at least twelve months, Social Security Administration will consider approving the case under Listing 1.19, 1.22, or 1.23. It is often helpful to have documentation of a medical need for a walker, bilateral canes, or wheelchair during the time period.

If a fracture meets durational requirements but does not result in disability under the listings, Social Security Administration will still evaluate the symptoms of the impairment to determine the claimant’s residual functional capacity. Typically, broken bones result in exertional limitations on lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, sitting, standing, or walking. However, depending on which bone is injured there may be non-exertional limitations as well. For example, a broken finger may impose manipulative restrictions, or a jaw fracture may result in limited communication with coworkers and the public. Likewise, ongoing symptoms of pain may cause mental deficits with concentration, persistence, and pace.

To prevail on a disability claim, the individual must show that the symptoms of their medical impairments prevent them from doing past relevant work, as well as any other work in the national economy. Consulting an attorney or law firm specializing in disability law could greatly increase the chances of approval for disability benefits.



Injured At Work?

Find out if you can collect Work Comp benefits too