Does an Assistive Device like a cane or walker help my Social Security disability case?
If you need a cane, walker, or wheelchair to ambulate effectively, it can have a significant impact on your claim for social security disability benefits. Many jobs require a person to stand or walk. Even a sit down job requires some kind of walking. It can be hard to perform this if an employee needs an assistive device. For example, if you are holding cane with your right dormant hand, it would be difficult for you to use that hand for work tasks. SSA also looks at why you need the device and how often you use it. These assistive devices may be used for standing, walking, or balancing.
If you find yourself before an Administrative Law Judge, they will look at whether your assistive device is “medically necessary”. Judges will tend to ask if your medical record supports the need for a cane or walker. Its important to have a prescription from your treating doctor for your cane, walker, or wheelchair. If it’s prescribed, it carries more weight than if your cane was purchased on your own.
Once SSA believes you medically need your cane or walker, SSA will then decide how the use of your assistive device impacts your ability to work. A
Vocational Expert (VE) will likely testify at your disability hearing regarding how assistive devices can impact certain types of jobs. That’s why it’s always important to hire an experienced attorney that may be able to reduce or eliminate the number of jobs available in the economy for a person with an assistive device. The attorney does this by questioning the VE as to whether the demands of certain jobs would tolerate the use of a cane, walker, wheelchair. In my experience, getting a prescription or statement from your physician for your assistive device can signifI at my help your case and prove that you need help with ambulation. Limited ambulation could erode the job base of many jobs in the national economy leading to a favorable outcome.