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Can you get Disability for a Knee Replacement?

Appealing for benefits is best done under the guidance of an experienced disability lawyer.

If you have had a knee replaced you may qualify for disability benefits.

Author Attorney Greg Reed:

The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits for those who cannot work. Additionally, private Long Term Disability insurance helps workers who become injured while employed. Almost all jobs require some degree of standing and walking.

knee replacement disability

The standard for disability benefits for knee replacement is the ability to “ambulate effectively”. Effective ambulation is defined as the ability of sustaining a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to carry out the activities of daily living without a walker or crutches. If you have had a knee replaced and may need disability call an SS disability lawyer at 512-454-4000

While there are many disorders that can affect the knees, knee replacement surgery is specifically listed among the conditions for which one can receive disability benefits.

According to the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments, an applicant may be eligible for benefits if they are unable to “ambulate effectively” and are not expected to recover within a year. This standard applies for both injuries and disease affecting the knee and knee replacement surgery.


If you have been denied disability for a knee replacement you may still qualify for benefits. Contact an experienced SS disability Lawyer at 512-454-4000


Over 4.5 million Americans are living with a knee that has been replaced.

90% of knee replacements result in the patient experiencing significantly less pain. While knee replacement is a very common and usually successful procedure, 7.5% of patients experience some sort of complication within 90 days of surgery. Generally, these complications are addressed successfully, but some patients experience severe infections, injury to the ligaments or angulation of knee. In these extremely rare cases, the patient may have mobility issues and difficultly sitting or standing for long periods of time.


Osteoarthritis is the typical cause for knee replacement surgery.

Osteoarthritis is degenerative joint disease where the cartilage around the joints breaks down leading to joint damage and pain. It is a natural effect of aging, but is accelerated by obesity, repetitive or traumatic injury, poor diet, genetics, and tobacco use. Long distance runners may also face an increased risk of osteoarthritis. While studies are still inclusive, it is often said that “today’s runners are tomorrow’s cyclists” due to joint stress. While the vast majority of knee replacements are for osteoarthritis, occasionally knee replacements are needed for injury, knee deformities, a torn ligament (ACL or PCL), or knee misalignment. Additionally, a rare condition called avascular necrosis can cause the bone to soften and disintegrate into the joint causing the need for a knee replacement.


Contact an SS disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits for a knee replacement. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!


It can be difficult to work with bad knees.

Nearly every job requires some degree of being able to walk around or stand for a long period of time. Simply because someone can walk around their home doesn’t necessarily mean they can navigate the workplace successfully. This is why the standard for disability benefits is the ability to “ambulate effectively”. Effective ambulation is defined as the ability of sustaining a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to carry out the activities of daily living without a walker or crutches.


In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.

The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.

  1.   The Duration of Work test.   Whether you have worked long enough to be covered under SSDI.
  2.   The Current Work Test.   Whether you worked recently enough for the work to actually count toward coverage.

The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.

  1.   Are you working?   Your disability must be “total”.
  2.   Is your medical condition severe?    Your disability must be “severe” enough to interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, and remembering.
  3.   Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments?   The SSA has a “List of Impairments” that automatically qualify as “severe” disabilities. If your disease is not listed this does not mean you cannot get disability, it means you must prove you cannot maintain employment due to your limitations.
  4.   Can you do the work you did before?   SSDI rules look at whether your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did prior to developing the condition.
  5.   Can you do any other type of work?   If you cannot do your prior work, an evaluation is made as to whether you can perform any other kind of work.


More details can be found on our Qualifying for Disability page.


Disability attorneys

If you have recently had a knee replacement surgery and have difficulty walking around, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. The Social Security Administration denies the majority of new applications. If your application is denied, you may have to file an appeal. The
SS Disability Lawyers at Bemis, Roach and Reed specialize in winning Social Security Disability appeals. We service central Texas, including Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.

5 star disability lawyers

"Words can not truly express the gratitude that I feel toward Mr. Lonnie Roach and his professional team. I give them an A+++. Very compassionate and prompt. Their priorities are first and foremost helping you succeed at your case. When you feel helpless, feeling like someone is on your side can mean the world to you. Thank you for working for the people."
-Amy K.


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top disability attorney

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Greg Reed disability lawyer
Author: Attorney Greg Reed has been practicing law for 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion Gold rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Reed obtained board certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Greg is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the United States Court of Appeals-Fifth Circuit. Mr. Reed is a member of the Travis County Bar Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, past Director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and an Associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Reed and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.

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