A cerebral vascular accident (CVA), commonly known as a stroke, is caused by impaired blood flow to the brain, depriving it of oxygen. Strokes can kill brain cells that govern everything from speech and balance to comprehension and use of a limb. If someone is having a stroke, they need immediate medical attention. The longer treatment is delayed, the greater the brain damage can be.
Stroke symptoms usually appear suddenly and can involve difficulties with balance, swallowing, breathing and vision. There may be problems speaking to or understanding others, severe headache, confusion and numbness or weakness on one side of the body. There may be paralysis of arms, legs and face along with numbness and tingling. Seventy-five percent of stroke victims sustain residual effects or limitations caused by the stroke. Some of these people are left with limitations that make it impossible to work.
Your physician may administer anticoagulants, oxygen, stabilize blood pressure with medication and control blood glucose levels. You may receive rehabilitation to regain functionality. Recovery can be total or partial; some stroke victims do not recover at all.
It usually takes a few months for the overall effects of a stroke to be identified and the extent of disability determined. For that reason, you cannot apply for Social Security disability benefits until at least three months after a stroke diagnosis.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider the limitations you’ve suffered according to the Vascular Accident Listing, the Medical-Vocational Allowance, or as a result of lost vision. SSA will also look at the type of work you performed previously, your age and your education. Age is a key factor in whether or not benefits are awarded. Generally speaking, the older you are, the more likely it is that your claim will be approved.
To qualify for disability benefits under the Vascular Accident Listing, your medical history must show at least one of these two conditions as a result of the stroke:
You may qualify for disability benefits under the SSA’s Medical-Vocational Allowance if the SSA determines that you can no longer perform your former work or any other suitable work. This is essentially a measure of whether you can still use your hands, and how well you can stand and/or walk. If you can’t perform your previous work, SSA will evaluate whether you have skills that can be applied to other types of work.
Some people lose vision as a result of a stroke. Most commonly, there is a loss of sight in half of the visual field of each eye. You may qualify for vision disability benefits if your vision tests fulfill SSA’s definition of legal blindness.
Statistics show that with a Social Security disability lawyer representing your case, your chances of being approved for benefits are significantly increased. Disability lawyers understand how to present a case in a way that’s favorable to you. They also know how SSA disability law works and which information to provide.
If you have suffered a stroke that has impacted your ability to work, contact a Social Security disability attorney as soon as possible. Most lawyers provide free consultations, and if your case is accepted, you owe nothing unless you win your case.
To discuss SSD and SSI claims or appeals, please call (215) 464-7200 or contact our attorneys using the form below.
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