If you have suffered a stroke, it might impact your ability to earn a living. You might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits, which will help you cover the costs of medical expenses, your housing, and other basic living costs.
The disability approval process is complicated, and thousands of people who apply are denied benefits every year. If you are applying for disability benefits because of a stroke, you should speak with a Social Security attorney or advocate in an effort to improve your odds of being approved for benefits.
How Does A Stroke Qualify for Disability Benefits?
If you have suffered a stroke, your claim will be evaluated using the criteria of Listing 11.04 in the Blue Book, which is the listing for a Central Nervous System Vascular Event. The Blue Book is the medical guide used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine whether an individual meets the medical criteria to be approved for disability benefits. To be approved using this listing, you must meet one of two criteria:
- Your ability to write or speak is severely impaired or completely lost OR
- You have issues that are pronounced with coordinating or controlling movements with at least two of your extremities – which are the arms and legs.
If you don’t meet the criteria under Section 11.04, you might be able to meet the medical criteria under another listing that applies to your situation, such as Section 2.10 for hearing loss or Section 2.02. 2.03, or 2.04 for vision being affected.
How Can An Attorney Help Me While Applying?
If you are applying for disability benefits because of a stroke, your attorney will make sure all your medical documents and paperwork is in order so they can be reviewed by the SSA for a decision regarding your claim. When your claim is reviewed by Disability Determination Services, the representatives will carefully go over all medical records including physician notes, pathology reports, surgical notes, prescription records, and lab reports to see if you meet the medical criteria for approval.
If the SSA representatives do not find the information that is needed to determine that your condition meets the disability criteria, your claim will be denied. Your attorney will serve as liaison between your physician and the SSA as well as any other necessary parties that are involved. An attorney or advocate will ensure the SSA can readily access all documents required to evaluate your claim accurately and fairly.
How Can My Attorney Help If My Claim Is Denied?
If your claim is denied, your Social Security attorney or advocate can help show that you are unable to earn a gainful income through a medical-vocational allowance which considers your medical problems, educational background, age, and work experience together. When your case goes before an administrative law judge at a hearing, you will talk about your work abilities with a vocational expert.
You will be questioned about your work history and how the stroke has impacted your abilities to do your tasks. An attorney or advocate knows what kinds of questions you will be asked by a vocational expert, so they will help you prepare for questioning regarding how you have been affected by the stroke, whether is has affected your speech, vision, hearing, or mobility. Questions might include, “Has your ability to communicate been impacted by the stroke and if so, how?” “How has your mobility been affected by the stroke?” “Do you have trouble lifting or grasping things?”
Connect With An Attorney Today
If you are ready to pursue an application for Social Security Disability benefits for a stroke, you need to speak with a Social Security attorney or advocate before applying so you can get an idea about whether or not you qualify for disability benefits based on Blue Book criteria and so you will know what documentation should be gathered before you apply. Complete our Free Case Evaluation today so you can get connected with an attorney or advocate in your area.