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Can I get social security disability? My rotator cuff was damaged after a surgery and I cant lift anything.

Spokane, WA |

April of 2012 I had a partial shoulder replacement done. It did not go well. Several things went wrong.
1. The replacement part was too large for my body type.
2. 50% of my rotator cuff was damaged.

I then went for a 2nd surgery in Oct 2012. This went better. But, My rotator cuff was damaged immensely. I have been gong through physical therapy since May 2012. Just saw my surgeon recently, and I was told I would never gain the strength to lift over 1lb, because I could completely take out the last 50% of my rotator cuff. I can not lift anything as of now, not even 1lb. My surgeon informed me and my physical therapist that there is nothing else that can be done. Can I apply for social security disability? What is the process??

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Attorney answers 4


Yes you can apply. Contact a Social Security attorney. It will greatly increase your odds of success. The question becomes, does your disability result in you being unable to do any work.


Yes, you can apply. But there are lots of questions an attorney will have. Is this your dominant arm? What are your age and education level? Do you have other medical problems? Are you or were you getting workers' compensation during this time?

To get SS Disability benefits you have to show that ALL your medical problems, combined, are severe enough to prevent you from doing your old job AND any other job anywhere in the US. Not an easy standard, especially if you are under 50, but not impossible either.

Start the process by applying for benefits with SSA as soon as possible. The date of application decides what months you may be eligible to receive benefits, so do it before the end of this month. Then, you may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts with counsel. Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.

You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact your local legal aid office if you cannot afford an attorney.

You may also contact the NOSSCR for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is

In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.

Their link is:

I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I agree with my colleagues. You can apply for disability benefits. You must keep in mind that approval is not guaranteed. You must establish that you have a condition that has lasted 12 or more months, that is expected to last 12 or more months, or that the condition might result in death. Additionally, you must establish that you can't do any of the jobs that you have done before or any other job that is available in todays national economy.

Seek out the help of an attorney. AVVO is a great place to find one.


You can apply for social security on line. However, many attorneys will help yo with the initial application. Your age can be a big factor in whether you will get it. The issue is what type of work are you capable of doing now considering ALL of your conditions, your experience, and education. Also, be sure to list any other conditions that might limit you even though the shoulder is the most serious.