Our friends at Disability Benefits Help recently submitted this guest post. Enjoy this useful article from their editorial team.
If you’ve experienced a stroke and are now unable to work, you may be eligible for financial assistance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly benefits for people who cannot maintain employment due to a serious disability. Here’s a little more information on how you can qualify after a stroke:
The SSA has a manual, called the Blue Book, which contains all of the potentially qualifying conditions and the test results or symptoms you’ll need to be approved for disability benefits. There are currently three ways to qualify for Social Security disability benefits after a stroke:
1. You are completely unable to communicate effectively with others.
2. You have difficulty moving at least two limbs, which results in your inability to perform any one of the following physical activities:
- Standing up from a seated position
- Balance while standing or walking
- Using your hands or arms
- Walking without assistance from crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair
3. You have some physical limitations (but not as severe as #2’s criteria), plus you have difficulty in one of the following areas of mental functioning:
- Understanding and remembering information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating and completing tasks
- “Adapting” oneself, which means controlling your emotions or temper in a professional setting
It’s important to note that the SSA requires your symptoms for all three sets of criteria have persisted for at least three months. The concern here is that some people recover quickly after a stroke and may only be disabled immediately afterward but can later return to work. Social Security disability is only for people who will be out of work for 12 months or longer. Be sure to wait a full three months to apply, otherwise your claim may be denied due to a technicality.
The entire Blue Book is available online so you can review the three listings for a stroke with your doctor to determine if you’re eligible.
Starting Your Application
The easiest and fastest way to apply for Social Security disability is online from the comfort of your own home. If you’re unable to type due to stroke complications, a family member can always complete the application on your behalf. If you’d like assistance submitting the paperwork, you can apply with the help of a Social Security representative in person at your closest SSA office. Call to make an appointment to apply in person at 1-800-772-1213. Additionally, a social worker at your inpatient rehab facility should be able to assist you with getting this process started.
It should take three to five months to hear back from the SSA. Once approved, you’re able to spend your benefits on medical bills, therapy, transportation costs, housing modifications, rent or a mortgage, childcare, or any other daily living needs.