Disability Claims When You Struggle to Walk: Top Tips for Success

If you are thinking about applying for disability benefits because you have trouble walking, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process. A little research can go a long way toward getting the Social Security Administration (SSA) the information they need to determine you are too disabled to work.

Struggling to walk is a very common reason people apply for disability benefits. When you can’t get around very well, it makes it hard to work or perform everyday tasks.

In order to get disability benefits for walking difficulties, you need to show how it affects your daily life. Many people with walking difficulties aren’t sure how to apply for these benefits. They might not know what proof they need to show that their problem is serious.

This article will explain the process so that you know exactly what information you need to submit with your claim. This includes everything from going to the doctor, keeping up with your treatment plan, and other things that can make your case stronger.

Pro Tip: Keep all records of your treatments and medications. This information can strengthen your claim.

If walking difficulties are making it harder for you to work, it’s important to know that financial help is available.

Top Tips for Filing for Disability When You Have Mobility Problems

1. Mobility Evaluation Criteria

The Social Security Administration will look at your medical information, doctors’ opinions, and other evidence to decide if you qualify for disability benefits. They will use this information to determine how well you can do everyday activities, such as:

  • Being able to walk at a normal pace for the distance needed in daily life.
  • Being able to go to work or school on your own.

This is usually decided based on whether you can do your daily tasks without help, but if you can’t walk without two canes or a walker, it’s likely harder for you to climb stairs or use your hands while walking.

There are a few mobility health problems that will automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. These walking problems include:

  • Amputation: Losing both hands, a leg, or a hand and a leg, which makes it impossible to use a device to help you walk.
  • Lower-limb fracture: If you break your pelvis, thigh bone, shin bone, or foot bones, they won’t heal, making walking hard for a year or more. You may also qualify if you have certain surgeries on your pelvis or hip that make it hard to walk for a long time.
  • Upper-limb fracture: Breaking your upper arm, forearm, or elbow in a way that needs a lot of surgery and affects your legs for walking in the next year could qualify you for benefits.
  • Soft tissue problems: Injuries such as burns on your body, face, head, or arms that make it hard to walk and need ongoing surgery for the next 12 months could also qualify you for benefits.

It’s a good idea to check out the Social Security Blue Book to understand the exact criteria the Social Security Administration uses to decide whether you qualify for disability benefits. This book has all the details on how each condition is evaluated, so you can see exactly what they are looking for when you apply.

2. Consistent Doctor Appointments

Regular visits to the doctor can significantly improve your application for Social Security Disability benefits. When you constantly see a doctor, it creates a detailed medical record that clearly shows your health condition and how it affects your daily life. These records are key evidence for your application, as they provide the Social Security Administration with a clear and ongoing picture of your disability.

Each visit, treatment, and recommendation from your doctor adds to a timeline that demonstrates the severity and persistence of your condition. Moreover, following your doctor’s advice and treatment plan shows the SSA that you are actively managing your health, which is an important aspect of your application.

Remember, a well-documented medical history can make a big difference in the strength of your disability benefits application, showing the true impact of your condition on your ability to work and perform daily activities.

3. Following Treatment and Medication Plans

Following doctor instructions when it comes to taking medicine and other treatments can really improve your application for Social Security Disability benefits. When you take your medicine and do all the recommended treatments, it shows the Social Security Administration that you are trying your best to take care of your health. This is important because it proves that the problems you have are happening even though you are doing everything the doctor tells you.

Keeping track of when you take your medicine and how your treatments are going can be very helpful. These records are strong proof for your application, and show just how serious your health condition is.

⚠️ Keep in mind, our articles are guides, not gospel. We are not the government, so for the most accurate benefit details, make sure to check with official government channels.

4. Proof of Severity

When you apply for disability benefits for walking problems, you will need to submit detailed medical records that show just how serious your problem is. These records can include notes from doctor visits, where your doctor writes about your walking issues and how they affect you. You should also include the results from any tests, like X-rays or MRIs, that show what’s wrong with your legs or feet.

It’s a good idea to submit any records of any treatments or surgeries you’ve had, and lists of medicines you take for your walking problems. If you use things like a cane, walker, or wheelchair, be sure to mention that too.

All these records help the SSA see just how much your walking problems affect your life. The more details you can give, the better they can understand your situation.

5. Your Age Matters

Your age is also an important factor when it comes to Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration takes how old you are into consideration because it can change what types of jobs you’re able to do.

If you’re older, it may be harder for you to start a new job or learn new skills. This can make your case for getting benefits stronger. For example, it’s often more difficult for older people to gain the necessary skills for a desk job if they’ve always done more physical work. On the other hand, if you’re younger, the SSA may think you can learn new skills or switch to a different kind of job more easily, even with your walking issues.

6. Work and Daily Life Impact Statements

Getting statements from coworkers, friends, and family can strengthen your disability application if you have trouble walking. These statements tell the Social Security Administration how your walking problems make it harder for you to work or do everyday things.

For example, a coworker can write about how they’ve seen your walking difficulty affect your job. Maybe you can’t move as fast, or you need extra breaks because of your pain. Friends and family members can talk about what they see at home. They can write about how you might struggle with simple tasks like shopping, cleaning, or even just moving around the house.

These statements are helpful because they show the SSA that your walking problem isn’t just a medical issue, but something that significantly affects your day-to-day life.

The best statements are the ones that give specific examples. Instead of just saying you have a hard time walking, they should describe situations where your walking problem made things difficult for you. This detailed information can make your application stronger because it gives a real-life picture of how your disability affects you.

How to Document Your Walking Struggles

Documenting your struggles with walking is important when applying for disability benefits, as it provides clear evidence of how your mobility issues affect your daily life. Accurate and detailed documentation can significantly strengthen your application.

Here are a few key ways you can track and document your mobility problems:

  1. Keep a Daily Journal: Write down your daily activities and note any difficulties or pain you experience while walking. Include details like how far you can walk, if you need to take breaks, and how long it takes you to recover.
  2. Record Doctor Visits: Document every visit to the doctor related to your walking issues. Include the date, purpose of the visit, and any advice or treatment given.
  3. Track Medication and Treatment: Keep a list of all medications and treatments you’re using for your mobility issues, along with their effects on your ability to walk.
  4. Gather Test Results: Save all medical test results, such as X-rays or MRIs, that relate to your walking problems.
  5. Collect Statements from Witnesses: Ask friends, family, and coworkers to write about how they’ve seen your walking issues affect your daily life.
  6. Photographs or Videos: If appropriate, take photos or videos that show your mobility challenges in daily situations.
  7. Physical Therapist’s Reports: If you’re seeing a physical therapist, keep records of their assessments and your progress (or lack thereof).
  8. Mobility Aid Usage: Note the use of any mobility aids like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, including when and how often you use them.

By keeping track of these details, you create a complete picture of how your walking difficulties impact your everyday life, which is essential for your Social Security Disability benefits application.

Creating a Stronger Disability Application for Walking Struggles

When applying for disability benefits due to walking difficulties, it’s important to provide detailed evidence to the Social Security Administration to improve your claim. This includes medical records from doctor visits, test results like X-rays or MRIs, records of treatments or surgeries, and lists of medications. It’s also helpful to document the use of any mobility aids, such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. Regular doctor appointments and following prescribed treatments and medications demonstrate your commitment to managing your health, which is an important aspect of your application.

Moreover, personal statements from coworkers, friends, and family can add a strong, personal touch to your application. They can describe specific instances where your walking difficulties have impacted your ability to work and perform daily activities. Detailed documentation, including a daily journal of your mobility challenges and the effects on your daily life, can also strengthen your case. Age can also play a role in your application, as it affects your ability to adapt to new work environments.

All these elements together create a comprehensive picture for the SSA, showcasing how your walking struggles impact your life and work.