How To Qualify For Social Security Disability After Having A Stroke
Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is the medical term for a stroke. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain starts to die. Symptoms of a stroke are numbness or weakness of the face, an arm or, a leg...especially on one side of the body. Additional signs of a stroke are confusion in terms of speaking and understanding, loss of vision, balance and coordination problems and, severe headache. High blood pressure, cigarette smoking, poor diet, and obesity are some but not all of the risk factors.
Stroke is the number 1 cause of adult disability in the United States and a common allegation seen on Social Security Disability claims.
Things you will need:
- Work history for the last 15 years
- Names and contact information of medical treating sources
File your claim through your local, Social Security, District Office. It will then be forwarded to a state Disability Determination Services (DDS) branch for adjudication. Some states have one DDS office and other states multiple.
You must serve a 3 month waiting period before DDS will assess your level of impairment. DDS views 3 months as the time it takes for baseline recovery. File your claim right away however to initiate the process.
Adjudication is generally performed within the framework of neurological listing 11.04. You will meet or equal this listing for approval of benefits if you have significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities. You will be found disabled if you are wheelchair bound. Difficulty walking requiring the use of a cane will generally trigger an allowance. Ineffective speech as well as severe, cognitive impairment can result in an allowance.
Approval of benefits can also be based upon a combination of medical and vocational factors. Ages 50 and higher receive additional consideration. Vocational history and educational level are taken into consideration as are other factors. You can file an appeal if your claim is denied.
- The sooner you file your claim following the stroke the better
- Have a friend or family member help you with the process
- You do not need an attorney at the first and second levels of the program but do if you appeal to the third level
- More than 50% of all claims are reversed to an allowance at the third level
- Do not appeal further if denied at the third level but instead, file a new claim
- Your level of impairment will not be considered until 3 months after the stroke
- You must cooperate with the process or your claim will likely be denied
- Fraud is prosecuted
- It can take well over a year to get before a judge at the third level of the program
* Author was a Social Security Disability Claims Adjudicator for 15 years