Receiving a denied Social Security with a stroke letter seems unlikely, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies a majority of disability benefits claims because of a lack of compelling medical evidence.
If you suffer from the healthcare repercussions of a stroke, you should know that the SSA offers a four-stage appeals process that can get you the financial help you need to pay off medical bills, as well as recover the money lost because of losing your job.
The key to overturning a denied disability benefits claim is to improve the strength of your case the second time you interact with the SSA.
Filing a Persuasive Appeal
When you filed your initial claim, a team of medical examiners from the SSA reviewed your claim to determine whether you qualified for Social Security disability benefits. With the SSA denying a majority of initial claims, there is a good chance that your claim comes back with the message of “denied disability benefits.” The reason for the denied claim can be your symptoms do not meet the severity test as listed in the SSA Blue Book.
The Blue Book lists all the medical conditions that qualify applicants for disability benefits. However, simply saying you suffered a stroke is not enough of a reason for the SSA to approve your initial claim.
When the time comes to file an appeal, you have to demonstrate that you suffer from severe stroke symptoms that include total loss of motor control and an inability to remember events that happened a short time ago. Acute memory loss is one of the most severe symptoms a stroke patient can experience.
Getting a Denied with Stroke Symptoms Claim Approved by the SSA
Proving you suffer from severe stroke symptoms starts by sending the SSA the results of diagnostic tests conducted by your physician. Brain imaging tests can detect the abnormalities of the brain that define the symptoms of a stroke. You should send the results of imaging tests over time, especially if your stroke symptoms have gotten worse.
The status of your stroke symptoms might have changed dramatically between the time you filed the initial claim and the time when you submitted an appeal for a stroke disability claim.
Complete a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment
Diagnostic tests tell just one part of your stroke story. You should also undergo a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, which is a process that puts you through several physical tests to determine the seriousness of your stroke symptoms.
A medical examiner from the SSA who oversees your RFC assessment should pay special attention to your motor control, as well as the severity of slurred speech. You can also go through mental sharpness tests that give the medical examiner from the SSA a good idea about your ability to complete the standard functions that are associated with your job.
Limited Time to Overturn a Stroke Denied Disability Claim
The day you received the disability benefits denial letter from the SSA is the day that the clock started ticking for filing an appeal. You have 60 days from the day you received a denial letter to file an appeal. The short window means you should contact a Social Security lawyer to boost the chances of getting your appeal approved by the SSA.
After completing a free case evaluation, you should have a good idea about how to submit the persuasive medical evidence that you need to submit to get your denied disability claim overturned.