Strokes occur any time the brain’s blood flow is interrupted in some way. Depending on the type of stroke, patients can experience a number of life-altering side effects, resulting in a great deal of physical, mental, or financial strain.
Fortunately, for those looking for assistance, Social Security disability benefits may be able to help. Disability benefits were designed by the government to provide monthly support to disabled Americans and their families. Below are the three best ways to boost your chances of getting disability benefits after a stroke.
Tip #1: Compile all current medical documentation and redo any out-of-date tests.
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses an applicant, they need to be sure their disability is severe enough in order to qualify. Unlike some other disorders, stroke symptoms are easy to measure and quantify with regular testing. For instance, MRIs can show the presence of brain damage after a stroke, or demonstrate the continued worsening condition of the brain in the affected area. Vision and hearing tests can detect changes in sensory ability, while motor function tests can detect paralysis or nerve issues resulting from the incident. Repeating previous tests is also a smart way to ensure data is accurate and up-to-date. As a general rule of thumb, it is always good to provide more evidence than less.
Tip #2: Receive testimonies and process notes from therapy sessions.
Many people experience problems with speech or motor skills after a stroke. This often requires multiple months of therapy to rewire the brain and restore cognitive function. When the SSA looks over a case and doesn’t see a history of therapy, this may cause them to question whether or not an applicant has explored every possible treatment option. To keep this from happening to you, ask for notes from your therapy sessions or testimonies from your therapists that can attest to your efforts. In fact, testimonies from anyone in your life (friends, families, doctors, old bosses or coworkers, etc.) can provide insight into your condition and may help you to receive benefits when you apply.
Tip #3: Ask for assistance when filling out your application.
The application process can be tricky and tedious for anyone, let alone someone recovering from a large brain injury. If you are having difficulty filling out the application or understanding certain requirements, there is no need to feel like you must complete it on your own. The SSA provides multiple options for applicants to receive assistance during the application process.
If entering information on a computer is difficult for you, consider getting a friend a family member to help you type things in. Installing assistive technology is also a great long-term solution that makes a computer easier to work than with a keyboard and mouse. You can also call your local Social Security office to speak with a representative who can help you fill out the application over the phone.
Contacting an Attorney
Before filling out your application, you may also want to speak with a disability attorney. During a daunting application process, an attorney an be invaluable to help sort files, update paperwork, and stay in contact with the SSA. Due to federal law, disability attorneys are also low-risk and are unable to receive payment from you unless you win your case.
For your best chance at receiving benefits after your stroke, consider a free consultation with a disability attorney today.