Stroke (Cerebral Vascular Accident)
- Stroke and Disability
- Listing vs. Residual Functional Capacity (RFC): How Does the Social Security Administration Determine Whether I Qualify for Disability Benefits for Stroke?
- How Can I Meet a Listing and Win Social Security Disability Benefits?
- What is Your Residual Functional Capacity Assessment for Stroke?
- Can Your Doctor’s Medical Opinion Help You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits for Stroke?
- What is the Sequential Evaluation Process?
There are two major types of stroke called ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open, causing blood to leak into the brain.
If you have had a stroke, are unable to work, and have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, call the experienced Santa Ana attorneys at Howard Law and let us fight to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
The Social Security Administration evaluates people applying for Social Security Disability benefits due to a stroke under the medical listing called “central nervous system vascular accident.”
To qualify for Social Security Disability due to a stroke, you must have suffered a central nervous system vascular accident, with one of the following more than 3 months post-vascular accident:
- Sensory or motor aphasia resulting in ineffective speech or communication; or
- Significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station.
The role of the Social Security Administration is to conclusivelyestablish whether you are disabled based on your education, work experience, medical evidence, and your age.
The role of your doctor is to provide the Social Security Administration with informationconcerning the degree of your medical impairment by providing the Social Security Administration medical source statement that describes your capacity for work which is part of your residual functional capacity assessment. Your residual functional capacity is what you can still do despite your limitations.
The Social Security Administration must consider your treating physician’s opinion because the Social Security Administration considers it to be controlling when making its decision.What is the 5 Step Sequential Evaluation Process?
The Social Security Administration has created a five (5) step sequential process to determine whether an adult claimant is entitled to receive disability benefits. Children have a different test to determine eligibility.
Step 1: Substantial Gainful Activity
The Social Security Administration presumes that if you are working and that you make a certain amount of money that you are engaging in what it determines to be a substantial gainful activity (SGA). The Social Security Administration considers a person to be engaged in a SGA if that person is earning more than a certain amount of money each month (i.e. net of impairment - related work related expenses).
In 2013, the Social Security Administration has determined that a statutorily blind individual is engaged in a SGA if they earn more than $1740.00 per month while a non-blind individual must earn more than $1040.00 per month. Changes in the national average wage index usually affect the aforementioned SGA amounts.
Step 2: Severe Impairment
The Social Security Administration has determined that each claimant must either have a severe impairment or a combination of impairments. The impairment or combination of impairments must drastically limit the claimant's physical or mental ability to do basic work activities without regard to age, work history, or education. For many claimants, the level of proof at this level is minimal; therefore, they usually satisfy the Step 2 requirements and proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Listing of Impairments
The Listing of Impairments details specific impairments that the Social Security Administration considers severe enough to prevent an adult claimant from engaging in a substantial gainful activity and in the case of a minor, the impairment has to be severe enough to cause functional limitations. There is also a durational requirement. The Social Security Administration has determined that the impairment must last for 12 months or long or result in the death of the claimant. If the claimant fails Step 3 because they do not meet or equal a listing then the case will proceed to Step 4.
Step 4: Past Relevant Work
At Step 4, if your condition is severe enough to meet the requirements of Step 2 (Severe Impairment); however, your severe impairment does not meet or equal a listed impairment that is the subject of Step 3 (Listing of Impairments), then the Social Security Administration must decide whether your severe impairment interferes with your ability to do any of the work you previously performed. The Social Security Administration likes to look at the work you performed over the past 15 years prior to the onset of your disability. If the Social Security Administration determines that your impairment does not interfere with work you previously did then you must proceed to Step 5.
Step 5: Ability to Perform Other Work
A majority of disability claims are decided at this level. If you cannot perform work you did in your past, then a determination must be made as to whether you can adjust to different types of work. The determination at this level takes into consideration your education, age, and prior work and is better known as your residual functional capacity.