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How can my inability to walk affect getting SSD benefits?

For Ohio residents who suffer a work-related injury or have a condition that prevents them from being able to work, there are certain requirements they must meet when they seek Social Security disability benefits. For people who have a physical problem that hinders their ability to walk, that is a crucial factor that the Social Security Administration and its Disability Determination Services will consider. One factor that is key is the ability to walk - or ambulate - effectively.

A person who cannot ambulate effectively means they have a limitation in their ability to walk. This refers to an inability to start, continue or finish various activities. Insufficient lower extremity functioning means the problem prevents the person from ambulating without a cane, a walker or some other device that will limit the upper extremities' functionality. For effective ambulation, the person must be able to sustain a reasonable pace when walking over a certain distance to do various activities for daily living. They must also be able to travel without a companion when going to work or school.

People who cannot effectively ambulate will not be able to walk without a device, cannot walk a block at a reasonable pace if it is on an uneven or rough surface, cannot use public transportation, and cannot do reasonably common activities like shopping, banking or other necessary aspects of daily life. Walking independently at home does not mean that the person is able to ambulate effectively enough to work.

For most jobs, the ability to ambulate effectively is a key component of performing it. When applying for Social Security disability benefits for injury and the injury hinders a person's ability to walk, it will generally prevent them from working most jobs. When the disabling condition keeps a person from walking enough to work, that is vital to a case. A legal professional can help with seeking SSD benefits for a person who is injured and suffers from an inability to ambulate.

Source:, "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security," accessed on Jan. 22, 2018

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