Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Do You Automatically Get Approved For Disability If You Had A Stroke?
Although strokes are most certainly a significant medical occurrence, they do not always lead to permanent limitations that are at a level considered disabling by Social Security. When an individual files for disability on the basis of a stroke, the disability examiner will not make a medical disability determination until at least three months have passed since the stroke occurred. They do this because Social Security considers that there is a clearer picture of what an individualís maximum medical improvement might be after three months. The disability examiner will base the disability claim on the limitations caused by the stroke.
The Social Security listing book (referred to as the blue book) evaluates cerebral vascular accidents (strokes) under impairment listing 11.04, Central Nervous System Vascular Accident. The listing criteria states that there must be one of the following more than three months after the stroke.
A. Sensory or motor aphasia (damage to the region of the brain that is responsible for language or speech caused by the stroke) that results in ineffective communicating abilities or speech; or
B. Severe and constant disorganization of motor function (paresis or paralysis, involuntary movement or tremor, ataxia, or sensory disorders) in two extremities that causes sustained disorder of an individualís gait and posture or gross and dexterous movements (assessment of the impairment of motor function depends upon how much it interferes with walking, standing, etc. and/or the use of fingers, hands, and arms).
If an individual meets the above listing criteria, they will be approved for disability benefits on the basis of their stroke. However, even if they do not meet or equal the listing criteria, they still may be approved through a medical-vocational allowance.
Medical vocational approvals consider what an individual is able to do in spite of their disabling condition, along with the individualís age, education, job history, and the transferability of their job skills. As such, medical vocational approvals are based on a certain type of decision-making called "sequential evaluation", a five step process that requires the social security administration's decision-maker to evaluate whether or not the claimant's condition is severe, will last at one full year, and, for this period, will prevent the performance of substantial and gainful work activity at either one of their former jobs (that fall into a relevant 15 year past work history) or at some type of other work that the claimant's skills might potentially be transferrable to.
Of course, the evaluation of a claim in this manner is highly dependent on the availability (to a disability examiner or to a disability judge, depending on what level the claim is currently at) of:
1) medical records and
2) a detailed work history.
Why both? Because the disability claim decision maker will need to determine the physical and mental requirements of the claimant's past work and compare this to the claimant's current capabilities. This will also be done in conjunction with considering whether or not the claimant can transfer his or her work skills to some type of other work (that they have never done before).
In summary, if a disability examiner is able to rule out an individualís past work activity and finds that their functional ability is so compromised that it precludes the performance of other work, then the claimant may be approved for disability benefits even without meeting the requirements of the stroke listing, listing 11.04.
Note: most social security disability and SSI claims are approved on a medical-vocational basis, not on the basis of satisfying the criteria of a listing in the blue book.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria