Strokes and Qualifying for Disability Benefits
Can I qualify for SS disability after experiencing a stroke?
Author Attorney Greg Reed:
You just finished gardening and headed off to the kitchen for a cool glass of homemade ice tea. One minute you were healthy. The next minute your has life changed forever.
You felt a sudden physical numbness on one side of your torso.
Instantly you experienced confusion, inability to speak, your vision clouded and you had difficulty maintaining your balance. You just experienced a stroke. The following minute, you crumbled to the sidewalk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 800,000 Americans are affected by stroke resulting in one death every four minutes.
Strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing the affected brain tissue to die.
The CDC emphasizes that receiving immediate medical care is essential to prevent life-long disabilities or death.
Fortunately, your spouse witnessed the terrifying event and immediately called 9-1-1.
The paramedics were on the way. The emergency room physician quickly administered T-pa (tissue plasminogen activator) to dissolve the occlusion. The importance of this injection within the first three hours following a stroke reduces your risk of permanent disability or death.
Contact a Social Security disability attorney at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits after suffering a stroke. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!
You have lost several days of your life.
You are experiencing reduced functional mobility on your right side and have been diagnosed with aphasia or the inability to form words, read or write. Work is no longer an option. The bills are mounting. Although gaining some ground in your recovery you are now medically diagnosed as permanently disabled. You’ve been advised to apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or long-term disability benefits. Where do you begin?
Just as it was essential to receive the T-pa dosage it is just as important to seek legal counsel.
This may be a battle you are not strong enough to face alone. You require a strong advocate.
The Social Security Administration relies on a strict definition of permanent disability.
The benefits you need to ease your financial burden can be hindered by a challenging application process and possible appeal to a denial of your claim. The overall process can take months. You need help now.
The SSA considers applications for stroke patients under its Blue Book listing 11.04 -Central Nervous System Vascular Event.
The stroke must cause a lasting impairment which means it must be expected to last for at least 12 months.
Listing 11.04 requires that:
- Your ability to speak or write is severely impaired or
- You have pronounced issues with controlling or coordinating movements with at least two extremities (arms or legs)
There are several other listings or means to receive a favorable judgement for disability
according to the SSA.
If your vision or hearing has been affected you may qualify under sections 2.02, 2.03, 2.04, or 2.10.
If the stroke has altered your intellectual ability or personality you may qualify under section 12.00 for mental disorders.
If you do not meet these specific disorder listings but can prove the stroke prevents you from working it is possible to qualify for SSDI under a “medical vocational allowance”.
You or your physician will need to complete a “functional report” listing your medical conditions, treatments and limitations you face on a daily basis. The SSA then assess your residual functional capacity (RFC) by considering your age, training, education, medical conditions and physical limitations. If they determine you cannot perform any job for which you are qualified based on your RFC they will grant the medical vocational allowance and approve you to receive disability benefits.
If you have been a victim of a stroke you may qualify for disability benefits
A stroke happens when a portion of the brain loses circulation. The severity of the stroke varies depending on how much of brain experiences blood loss and for how long. Strokes are common, affecting 795,000 Americans each year. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States and many stroke victims qualify for disability benefits.
There are two main types of strokes. 87% of strokes are Ischemic strokes, where circulation is stopped by an obstruction in the blood vessel.
Ischemic strokes are further dichotomized into thrombosis, where a clot develops in the vessel, and embolism, where the obstruction came from another part of the body. The less common (13%) type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke, where circulation is lost due to bleeding.
Strokes are very serious and can be treated with early detection.
When an individual’s brain shuts down, they may experience numbness, loss of motor control, slurred speech, and difficulty with balance. It is important to know the symptoms of a stroke so that if you witness someone having a stroke, you can get them medical attention immediately. The American Heart Association has popularized the acronym F.A.S.T. for remembering stroke symptoms. F.A.S.T stands for
- Face drooping- is one side of their face numb?
- Arm Weakness- is one arm weak or numb?
- Speech difficulty- is their speech slurred or hard to understand?
- Time to call 911- call 911 if someone experiences these symptoms, even if they go away.
If the stroke is detected quickly, doctors can restore blood flow to the affected areas and reduce the probability of permanent damage.
The first three hours after a stroke are the most important, and it is best to get a stroke victim into treatment in this time frame.
If you have been denied disability for the effects of a Stroke you may still qualify for benefits. Contact an experienced SS attorney at 512-454-4000 and see if you can get Social Security Disability for Stroke
Doctors usually treat the stroke by breaking up the clot that caused it.
However, if the clot cannot be dissolved, doctors will try to remove it surgically. There may be lasting brain damage as a result of the stroke. Depression is one of the most common symptoms after a stroke. Motor, speech and reasoning ability may also be negatively impacted. A quarter of stroke survivors will go on to have another stroke in the next five years.
There are a few risk factors associated with strokes.
Age is major factor; 75% of stroke victims are over age 65. Race seems to play a role; African Americans suffer from strokes twice as frequently as whites and are more likely to die after a stroke. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use are all significant factors in stroke risk and occur in higher rates among African Americans.
While both genetics and lifestyle play a role, there’s little an individual can do about their genetics.
As with most diseases, the risk of stroke can be reduced by healthy lifestyle choices. Getting enough exercise, losing weight, and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and drugs will help reduce the risk of stroke as well as improve your overall health.
Strokes are one of the leading causes of disability. If you or someone you know has had a stroke and is unable to work, they may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance or Long Term Disability Insurance benefits. Applying for benefits can be an uphill battle. Social Security denies two-thirds of initial applications and Long Term Disability Insurers are often reluctant to pay out legitimate claims. If you have been denied disability benefits, the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed can help. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
Author: Attorney Greg Reed has been practicing law for 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion Gold rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Reed obtained board certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Greg is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the United States Court of Appeals-Fifth Circuit. Mr. Reed is a member of the Travis County Bar Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, past Director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and an Associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Reed and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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