Qualifying For Social Security Disability After A Stroke
You may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits after suffering a stroke if the symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from working for at least 12 months. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and food. There are two kinds of stroke. The more common kind, called ischemic stroke, is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain. The other kind, called hemorrhagic stroke, is caused by a blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain. “Mini-strokes” or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), occur when the blood supply to the brain is briefly interrupted.
Symptoms of a stroke can include:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
- Sudden vision changes.
- Sudden trouble speaking.
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
- Sudden problems with walking or balance.
- A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.
Following an application submitted due to stroke, Social Security will evaluate the case to determine if the claimant meets or equals a listing. A listing is a set of criteria specific to a condition that, if satisfied, would automatically qualify a claimant for disability benefits. Listing 11.04 is the listing specific to strokes.
11.04 Central nervous system vascular accident. With one of the following more than 3 months post-vascular accident:
A. Sensory or motor aphasia resulting in ineffective speech or communication; or
B. Significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station (see 11.00C).
C. Persistent disorganization of motor function in the form of paresis or paralysis, tremor or other involuntary movements, ataxia and sensory disturbances (any or all of which may be due to cerebral, cerebellar, brain stem, spinal cord, or peripheral nerve dysfunction) which occur singly or in various combinations, frequently provides the sole or partial basis for decision in cases of neurological impairment. The assessment of impairment depends on the degree of interference with locomotion and/or interference with the use of fingers, hands and arms.
If you do not meet or equal the above listings, you can still qualify for disability benefits if the impairment prevents the person from doing his or her past relevant work or other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy.