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Obtaining SSDI benefits for disability caused by a stroke

As many Missourians know from the experiences of their friends or family members, a stroke - a clot or burst blood vessel in the brain - can be a devastating condition that prevents the victim from working and interferes with daily living activities. While the likelihood of experiencing a stroke increases with age, persons in their 30s and 40s can suffer from a disabling stroke. This post will address the criteria for proving an SSD claim for a disability caused by a stroke.

The Social Security Administration classifies strokes as a neurological disorder, along with conditions such as epilepsy, benign brain tumors and Parkinsonism. Strokes are specifically called vascular insults to the brain. The SSA regulations define a vascular insult to the brain as "brain cell death caused by in interruption of blood flow within or leading to the brain"; brain cell death can also be caused by a ruptured blood vessel or aneurysm in the brain.

A person seeking disability benefits for the effects of a stroke must provide evidence of the ways in which the vascular insult interferes with a person's speech or motor skills, such as walking and standing. Generally, one of the three following conditions will qualify for benefits: (a) sensory or motor aphasia that interferes with effective speech or communication, (b) disorganization of motor function in two extremities that interferes with the ability to stand or maintain balance, or (c) limitation in physical functioning accompanied by impaired mental functioning. Each of these conditions must have lasted at least three consecutive months after the insult occurred.

Proving disability caused by a stroke can be difficult. Anyone who is contemplating applying for SSD benefits may wish to consult a lawyer who specializes in handling SSDI benefit claims. Such a consultation can provide a helpful overview of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining benefits.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, 11.04 Vascular insult to the brain," accessed on Dec. 31, 2016

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