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Can I Get Social Security Disability After A Stroke

I am a claims examiner who has reviewed disability cases for social security over many years  and evaluated numerous cases related to strokes. Generally speaking,  applying for disability can be very time consuming and confusing because there are specific rules that are used by social security that apply to physical impairments.  Hopefully, the following information may help to clairify answers to questions related to how the state decides whether one will be granted or denied benefits.Disability After A Stroke

How Do You Qualify For Disability Benefits After Having A Stroke?

Acccording to social security guidelines any physical impairment must be expected to last at least 12 months. Another rule is that a chiropractor’s notes and opinions are not recognized by social security as from an acceptable medical source. Acceptable medical sources are physicians, podiatrists and physical therapists.  In addition one must have what is called a medical determinable impairment; that is,  x-rays or MRI studies must show an abnormality. Your doctor simply stating that you had suffered a stroke is insufficient.

Can You Get Disability For Having A Stroke?

Those  at the state level will review all your medical records from the hospital and doctor’s office notes. The  main consideration for the social security reviewer in cases of strokes will be what is called  the neurological residual deficit you are left with after a stroke; that is, your ability to walk with or without a cane, plus your ability to use  your arms and hands. As stated earlier regarding your impairment must last 12 months,  although initially one may have a severe neurological deficit resulting in  great difficulty walking and using one’s hands as well as speaking, with time and therapy considerable improvement may occur within the 12 months period following your stroke. Therefore, without significant after affects following your stroke, you probably would be denied benefits. Your doctor will document this in his medical record. Also, he may provide an RFC which means residual functional capacity where he will indicate your ability to walk with or withot a cane and if a cane is medically necessary for balance as well as your ability to use your hands.

Stroke and Social Security Disability Benefits

In addition, the state may require you to attend a CE(consultative examination) where a physical examination will be performed. At that time, your ability to walk will be noted and if a cane is required as well as your ability to use your hands for grasping and performing fine fingering such as picking up objects and writing. If your speech has been affected, he will also note how well you speak and be understood. In addition, besides physical problems, you may have suffered mental difficulties which will need to be to be evaluated by a Psychologist.

IMPORTANT POINT: Even though you may not need a cane for walking, but may walk for instance in an unsteady or limping manner, your doctor should state how many hours in an 8 hour day you can actually walk : the state wishes to know this in very exact terms: As an example, he may report that you are limited to walkiing 6 out of 8 hours, 2 out of 8 hours or significantly under 2 out of 8 hours. If your hand is involved; he may state you can grasp and hold objects or perform fine skills such as typing, writing and picking up small objects occasionally which means one third of a day or less.

Due to the complicated issues involved in applying for disability, it would be beneficial if one would have an attorney familiar with disability cases at the beginning of the application process. This will serve to save time, avoid frustration and improve your chances of success.