The road to recovery can be a long one for those who have experienced a stroke. In addition to facing the physical and emotional challenges that come with the sudden health event, one must often contend with the financial impact of being unable to work.
It’s important for stroke survivors to know that they are not alone. The Social Security Administration (SSA) developed a program that offers a financial lifeline to those who have become disabled due to a severe health condition. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is aimed at assisting those, such as stroke survivors, in maintaining a good quality of life.
Neurologists in New Jersey
If you have suffered a stroke, it’s highly likely that you are working with a neurologist. A neurologist is a medical expert that specializes in disorders related to the brain and spinal cord. Your neurologist is likely the most important person in your stroke recovery team, as he or she will follow you throughout the course of your recovery. It is essential that you have a close working relationship with your neurologist, both as it relates to your health and as it relates to your Social Security disability claim. As the SSA puts a tremendous amount of weight on the opinion of a specialist, the medical information that your neurologist submits will be carefully evaluated.
If you are not already working with a neurologist on a regular basis, here are three possibilities in New Jersey and the surrounding area.
Rutgers Department of Neurology
Doctors Office Center
90 Bergen Street, Suite 8100
Newark, NJ 07101-1709
(973) 972 -2323
Neurology Partners of Hudson County
600 Pavonia Ave, 4th Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07306
St. Joseph’s Health
703 Main Street
Paterson, NJ 07503
(973) 754 – 2000
Stroke Support Groups in New Jersey
Many people who have had a stroke are left feeling scared, alone, and overwhelmed as they try to navigate their new normal. Some individuals find great value in joining a stroke support group. There is an increasing amount of researching illustrating that connecting with others after a stroke helps to combat the isolation that can sometimes lead to depression and anxiety.
Stroke support groups bring individuals with a shared experience together in one room. Together, they can learn from one another, as well as to share resources and emotions. There are stroke support groups throughout the state of New Jersey. Here are three of the more well-attended groups:
Stroke Survivor Group
Meets Every 3rd Tuesday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
4807 10th Avenue
Administrative Bldg. C, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11219
JFK Stroke Support Group
Meets Every 2nd Tuesday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
65 James Street
Edison, NJ 08818
(732) 321-7010 x62683
Stroke Support Group (Kessler Institute for Rehab)
Meets Every 4th Wednesday
300 Market Street Avenue
Saddle Brooke, NJ 07663
Applying for Social Security Disability for Stroke in New Jersey
If you have suffered a stroke and your neurologist does not expect that you will recover enough to return to work within a year of your stroke, you might be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
A stroke is listed in section 11.04, vascular insult to the brain, of the Blue Book. The SSA uses this online manual to determine which conditions are severe enough to warrant a disability determination.
Unlike many health conditions that arise slowly or where the outcome of the illness is immediately known, it often can take some time before the long-term impact of a stroke is evident. Therefore, the Social Security Administration will not review a stroke claim until at least three full months have passed since the date of the cerebrovascular accident.
So long as your neurologist confirms that your medical limitations are expected to last for one year, and it has been a full three months since your stroke occurred, you can apply for SSDI benefits. Applying for benefits online is easy. Alternatively, you may visit any one of New Jersey’s 23 Social Security offices, such as the ones listed below.
Newark Social Security Office 07103
274 Springfield Ave
Newark, New Jersey 07103
Jersey City Social Security Office 07305
325 West Side Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey 07305
Paterson Social Security Office 07505
200 Federal Plaza First Floor
Paterson, New Jersey 07505
Can A Social Security Disability Lawyer Help Me for My Stroke in New Jersey?
With almost 9 million residents, New Jersey is currently the 11th most populated state in the U.S. With a high number of applicants and a backlog of cases, many Social Security offices are busy. In fact, the average wait time for a disability appeals hearing in New Jersey is close to two years.
While there is little that can be done about the wait times, hiring a qualified Social Security lawyer from the start can help to improve your chances of avoiding an appeals hearing altogether. An experienced disability lawyer will work hard to ensure that your application is complete and that all of the supporting medical documentation is presented at the start of the process.