It comes out of nowhere to produce a medical emergency that can significantly diminish the quality of life. Symptoms such as slurred speech, numbness in the face, and issues with one or both eyes make it difficult to communicate with other professionals in the workplace.
The good news is advanced therapies have turned a stroke into a medical affliction that does not have to leave a permanent disability. Another piece of good news is the Social Security Administration (SSA) runs a program that provides financial assistance for qualified applicants.
How to Receive Financial Assistance for a Stroke
Since advances in medicine have improved how the healthcare industry treats and rehabilitates stroke patients, the costs associated with the medical condition have soared through the proverbial roof. If you suffered a stroke that your doctor believes can be reversed through treatments and rehabilitation, you can expect to pay medical bills that run into the thousands of dollars.
In addition, until you reverse the negative physical consequences of a stroke, you probably will not work at all. Lost wages combined with expensive medical treatments can put stroke victims on the verge of financial collapse.
The SSA offers stroke victims a program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, the SSA applies a strict set of criteria for reviewing SSDI applications. For a stroke, the SSA refers to Section 11.04 of the agency’s blue book to determine eligibility for SSDI benefits.
Because of the strict application of Blue Book criteria, more than 50 percent of all SSDI applications come back denied. This means to submit the most convincing SSDI application, you need to present medical evidence that a stroke has made it impossible for you to work.
Can Medicare Help?
When Americans turn 65 years old, they automatically become eligible to enroll in Medicare. If you are 65 and receive SSDI benefits, you might wonder whether you can receive benefits from both safety net programs.
The answer is no, as the federal government prohibits SSDI recipients that are eligible for Medicare to receive Medicare health insurance for two years. Even after the passage of two years, SSDI benefits offer a more comprehensive financial safety net because the program covers a portion of lost wages.
Returning to Work
Since advances in medicine have helped improve the lives of tens of thousands of stroke patients, many stroke patients can restart their careers after an extensive treatment and rehabilitation regimen. The SSA makes the transition back to work much easier by offering stroke victims access to a couple of programs.
Ticket to Work teaches stroke victims the skills they either need to relearn to get back an old job or learn new skills to start a different career. Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) represents an SSA back to work program that explains how to budget for the long road back to work, as well as acquire the financial resources needed to conduct searches for employment.
Contact a Disability Lawyer to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Know where you stand with the SSA before you submit an SSDI application. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can put you through a free case evaluation to determine whether you have enough evidence to win approval for your application.
Your attorney will work closely with you during every step of the SSDI application to help you receive financial assistance.