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Does Having a Stroke Make Me Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits?

Strokes are caused by decreased blood flow, and therefore decreased oxygen supply, to the brain. Normally due to a hemorrhage or blocked blood vessel in the brain, strokes can cause significant impairments to their victims such as difficulty walking, poor balance, damaged vision or an inability to communicate. If you have suffered the severe effects of a stroke, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Lewis & Keller has a Social Security disability lawyer in Winston-Salem is standing by to provide any legal assistance you may need.

Social Security Disability Qualifications

In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must meet three initial stipulations.

  1. The impairment must be severe enough to have at least a minimal impact on your work performance.
  2. The injury or impairment needs to affect you for at least one year.
  3. Your monthly income cannot exceed $1,040.

Qualifications for Stroke Disability

If you qualify based on these first three determinations, the SSA then determines whether your stroke meets one of the two listings in the Listing of Impairments.

  1. Listing 11.04

Listing 11.04 refers to all central nervous system vascular accidents, including strokes. In order to be approved under this Listing, your stroke must have caused one of the following two types of complications for at least three months after the stroke.

  • Difficulty using your hands or walking because of partial or complete paralysis or an inability to control your movements
  • Difficulty understanding what other people say, remembering the titles of commonplace items or communicating via writing or speaking
  1. Listing 2.00

Listing 2.00 includes impairments of the special senses and speech, such as damage to your vision and speech caused by strokes. If order to qualify for Social Security disability under this Listing, you need to only meet one of the following criteria.

  • You need to have suffered a significant loss to your visual acuity.
  • Your better eye’s visual efficiency must be less than or equal to 20% with glasses.
  • Your better eye’s vision must be less than or equal to 20/200 with glasses.
  • You have lost the ability to speak and be understood by others, even if you are using an assistive device.

What to do if You don’t Meet the Listing Criteria

Even if you do not qualify for Social Security disability through the Listing requirements, the SSA may still grant you disability benefits if they determine that you can no longer work at all due to the effects of your stroke. If the SSA believes that you can still perform the same duties at your old job, they will automatically deny you benefits. However, if they decide that you can no longer perform the same functions required of your old job, they will attempt to find another job that you may be able to do based on your education, previous work experience, age and work-related limitations.

In order for the SSA to complete this part of the process, they require a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment from your doctor. This is a detailed report that your treating physician needs to prepare that includes precisely how your stroke’s limitations affect your ability to perform essential work-related functions. If this report adequately demonstrates that you cannot work due to the effects of your stroke, the SSA should approve your disability benefits.

Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Winston-Salem

If you believe that you or someone you know is suffering from the debilitating effects of a stroke and should be receiving disability income, a Social Security disability lawyer in Winston-Salem may be able to help. The experienced lawyers at Lewis & Keller are familiar with Social Security cases, so we will be able to understand all the details of your particular case. We’ve been providing legal assistance to North Carolina for over two decades, so let us help you too.