Stroke or CVA and Social Security Disability

How does Social Security disability handle strokes? This page will talk about cerebral vascular accidents as a disability and how it is evaluated when determining if you are disabled. I will discuss the different types of strokes and how it's affect on different body systems impacts the disability claim. 

Find a Lawyer for Disability for Stroke

There are essentially three types of CVA.  Ischemic stroke is when the artery or arteries that supply blood to the brain are blocked for some reason. When a part of the brain cannot get oxygen from this artery that part of the brain can become damaged and the cells die. The Hemorrhagic stroke is when an artery in the brain bursts. This can be caused by an aneurysm which is essentially a weak area of the artery which balloons and then bursts.  A third type of stroke is a Transient Ischemic Attack. This is also referred to frequently as a mini stroke. This type may not cause any symptoms or limitations but may be signs of a more serious problem to occur later if not treated. 

There are different signs or symptoms of a stroke. They may include headaches, eye problems, confusion, difficulty in speaking, difficulty with coordination, legs arms or face may become numb or week and sometimes total paralysis of one side of the body.  Cerebrovascular accidents are the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is also a medical condition that is one of the leaders in causing disability. Although we frequently consider stroke to be a medical condition of the elderly 25% of strokes occur before the age of 65. 

Social Security Disability, Lawyers and Stroke

I will now talk about how a stroke is evaluated by Social Security in determining if someone is disabled and hopefully provide some insight in how to win a claim for disability. Because stroke can affect any part of the brain one's limitations from the condition are associated with the body part that the part of the brain that was injured controls. So what is important in a Social Security disability claim, is how your CVA has affected your functional ability. You should see my page on how Social Security determines if you are disabled to understand the process the decision-maker goes through when deciding if you are disabled. Someone who has suffered a stroke may be found disabled based on meeting or equaling a listing for the area affected or by the total functional limitations on the body that would prevent not only their past work but other work as well. 

A lawyer can be very helpful in cases where the claimant has had a stroke because they may be able to base disability on one of the listed impairments by showing how the stroke has caused limitations that equal a listing for a specific area of the body. For example, if the CVA has interfered with one's coordination or feeling in one leg it may prevent individual from being able to ambulate (walk) effectively. A good disability lawyer could make the argument that this individual would equal a listing for a different medical condition but show why the claimant equals the requirements of the listing for a different medical condition. Since we are dealing with the brain there may be a number of different medical listings in which an argument to be made that the claimant who suffered the stroke would meet or equal a listing. Even if there is not a medical listing which the individual would meet or equal, disability can also be proved if it can be shown that the effects of the stroke on the body have caused limitations that would preclude work. Getting evidence from a doctor about the specific limitations the CVA has caused can be extremely helpful in proving disability to SSA. The severity of the limitations required to prove disability can depend on other factors such as age, education and past work experience. Some people who apply for SSD or SSI benefits may not need the help of a lawyer to win their case if the limitations are extreme and obvious, such as complete paralysis of one side of the body. However, when there is in complete paralysis or other limitations caused by the stroke the case can become more complicated and you may want to consider hiring an attorney. There are also less obvious limitations that a stroke may cause which can help prove disability. Strokes also can cause cognitive difficulties such as difficulties with memory, concentration, speech and balance. These additional limitations should be noted and included in a claim for Social Security disability. It is also very common for those who have suffered a cerebral vascular accident to develop depression as a result of the limitations from the stroke and the change in lifestyle as a result. So getting proper treatment for your depression and providing those medical records to Social Security is extremely important as well. 

We have attempted to provide up to date and accurate information, however the information in this site is not guaranteed.  No attorney client relationship exist.  The information in this site is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified attorney.
© 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 by Kazmierczak & Kazmierczak, LLP. All rights reserved.
If you have had a Stroke or CVA and need a lawyers help with your SSDI or SSI claim feel free to contact me at the link above.