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Applying for Social Security Disability or SSI for Stroke

Disability Examiners see a fair number of Social Security Disability and SSI initial claim disability applications for which the primary allegation is stroke. And, unfortunately, after evaluating the residuals from a stroke three months post-cva (cerebrovascular accident) they turn a lot of these cases down as well.

Here's some interesting information regarding strokes:

1. "There are 750,000 strokes in America each year and 40 percent of those are due to carotid disease."

2. "35 percent of all people who have strokes are sent to nursing homes"

3. "Only 10 percent of stroke victims make full recovery"

4. "90 percent of all stroke victims have some residual deficit after their stroke"

My own recollection of having worked as a disability examiner is that too many disability examiner decisions---replace disability examiner with unit supervisor---are unfavorable (i.e. too many cases denied). And you have to wonder if examiners are even properly equipped to evaluate such cases. Neurological consults, which are often ordered on stroke cases, only provide snapshots (you don't see all the deficits three months post-cva and the severity of the deficits is subject to change over time).

And, then also, there's the wording of the stroke listing which reads "significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities...". The very language of the listing itself is fairly subjective.

Unfortunately, since the listing stipulates that stroke cases need to be evaluated three months after the occurrence of a stroke (for the severity of the residuals), it doesn't seem as if, in most instances, they'll benefit from Quick disability decision units, unless a QDD examiner is allowed to go the med-voc route (medical vocational disability decision) when evaluating the claim.

However, I would think that strokes cases simply will not go to QDD units. And, if that's the case, I suppose MI (heart attack) cases won't either.

The following page discusses how disability claims involving stroke are determined. Excerpt: "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."

Link: How Social Security evaluates stroke.

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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

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