Often the result of a blocked blood vessel or brain hemorrhage, a stroke can leave you unable to communicate or function like you once did. You may be permanently altered, unable to speak or move in your full capacity, and therefore unable to do the work you once did to sustain yourself. A stroke can certainly lead to disability, which means you may be able to get SSI or Social Security disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The SSA has requirements for disability that you must meet to obtain benefits. In the case of stroke, you can demonstrate to the SSA that you meet the organizations disability requirements for stroke. These requirements are specific, however, and not every stroke victim may be able to meet them. Fortunately, even if you do not meet the SSA disability requirements for stroke specifically, you may still be able to get benefits through a medical-vocational allowance – determined by your ability to work after your stroke.
If you want to get benefits based on your stroke, you will need to have your doctor complete the listing form for stroke, and then you will need to include this form in the application you give to the SSA. The listing form requires the doctor state that you meet one of the following criteria for at least three months:
Not everyone can meet the specific requirements for stroke defined above, but that does not mean there are no other options. The SSA is prepared to deliver payments to individuals that are disabled, even if they do not fit the exact criteria for a specific disorder or disease. A medical-vocational allowance is for those who can no longer work in the capacity they once did due to illness or accident. If your doctor can state that you are incapacitated to the point where you cannot go back and do your old job, and you are in a situation where doing a job that would allow you to make similar pay is not an option, then you may be able to get SSI or SSD payments.
You can apply for disability in the following ways:
Probably the least desirable option is to walk into the Social Security office without an appointment. You may have to wait a long time before you can talk to someone about your application. Calling to apply allows you to speak with a representative. They can help you with the application, and applying online is often the fastest option.
Be prepared for denial of your initial application. The SSA tends to deny claims the first time around. You will need to appeal if you want to get your benefits. The appeal process can take a significant amount of time, over a year in some cases. Prepare yourself for a wait. By demonstrating your disability, there is a chance you will get your benefits, but it will probably not happen quickly.
To improve your chances of getting your benefits and eliminate much of the uncertainty of the application and appeals process, you should work with an attorney experienced in SSI and SSDI. A skilled attorney can help ensure that everything is done right the first time. Correctly collecting information minimizes the chances of rejection. Your lawyer will be useful in the appeals process. You may need to speak to a judge and present your case before SSA accepts your claim.
The North Country law firm of Schneider & Palcsik has helped many, many clients through the SSI/SSDI process, and we are here to do the same for you. Please contact us now to get started on the application or appeals process. The sooner we begin, the sooner we can get you your benefits.
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