Stroke

A stroke can be caused by a hemorrhage in the brain or a blocked blood vessel. Some people suffer only mild complications after experiencing a stroke, but it is possible for more serious, long-lasting complications to develop.

People who are unable to work because of these complications may be eligible for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. These benefits are available to qualified individuals who suffer from a disability that is expected to last at least one year. People who receive SSDI benefits must have worked in the past in order to earn them.

Disability for a Stroke

Some stroke victims only suffer from mild muscle weakness on one side of their body. Numbness in the face is also common. These effects may be short-term, and rehabilitation is often able to allow sufferers to regain independence following a stroke.

However, it is possible for long-term or even permanent complications to occur. The residual effects that occur after a stroke may be severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to complete job tasks. For example, some people suffer from chronic headaches after a stroke. While the pain may be managed with medication in some people, it is possible for others to experience pain on a regular basis.

Fatigue is another residual effect that can make it difficult for a person to work. Long-term fatigue is a condition that affects a person’s ability to complete both professional and personal care tasks. People may feel completely exhausted at all times, and fatigue could even affect a person’s ability to concentrate.

Lack of balance and dizziness are two related residual effects that occur in stroke victims. People who have to stand or walk during their workday may not be able to complete job tasks because of long-term balance problems and dizziness.

Qualifying for SSDI benefits due to these residual effects depends on the severity and persistence of the effects. It is important to understand that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will also look at work history to determine if the individual could work in a different position. For example, people who can no longer work in their current position because of chronic dizziness may be expected to find employment in a position that involves sitting throughout the day.

Stroke and SSDI

Applicants should be aware that they will be waiting for an answer from the SSA for up to a year. While it usually takes several months for the SSA to determine whether an application will be approved, stroke cases take even longer.

This is because the SSA defers these decisions by three months in order to observe the lasting effects of stroke on an individual. The recovery process is very different for each individual who suffers from a stroke, and it takes time to determine whether a person will be able to regain physical abilities with rehabilitation.

It is essential for disabled individuals to seek medical attention during and after a stroke. Follow-up appointments record the progress that an individual has made, and the SSA requires applicants to seek medical attention and try the appropriate treatment options. Regular appointments with a medical provider who is familiar with the patient’s medical history are recommended to improve the individual’s chances of being approved for benefits.

Getting Help With Applying

Unfortunately, applying for SSDI benefits tends to be a tedious and confusing process. Many people feel alone in their pursuit of the benefits that they have earned, and it is common for applicants to worry about their ability to pay their bills while suffering from a debilitating condition. The best way for a disabled individual to be approved for SSDI benefits is by seeking the assistance of a legal representative. SSDI attorneys are skilled at guiding people through the benefit application process. The goal of these experienced professionals is to lift the weight off of the shoulders of their clients to let them focus on getting better. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.