Does a Stroke Automatically Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Strokes can happen at anytime. You can have one during the middle of the night while you’re asleep or a stroke can attack your brain at the height of a busy workday. A stroke represents one of the most debilitating medical conditions. Unfortunately, suffering the symptoms of a stroke does not automatically qualify a victim for stroke disability benefits. In order to receive financial assistance for a stroke, you must submit a claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA processes all claims through the same system, but if a stroke has developed severe, or even life-threatening symptoms, you may qualify for stroke disability benefits by requesting financial assistance through the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program.

How to Qualify Automatically for Disability Benefits

Automatically qualifying for Social Security disability benefits through the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program requires you to go through the same process that every other disability applicant goes through. However, the difference between the two is that when you file a claim for disability benefits through the Compassionate Allowance program, you will have to state on your claim that your symptoms from your stroke might make you eligible for fast-track approval of stroke disability benefits.

Given that the SSA denies most claims for financial assistance, you might have a better chance of receiving stroke disability benefits if you submit a claim for the Compassionate Allowance program. The Compassionate Allowance program exists to help the SSA quickly identify applicants that might qualify for financial assistance, to try to prevent these individuals from having to wait months, if not more than a year for their application to be approved.

Many of the medical conditions listed in the Compassionate Allowance program are considered life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Compassionate Allowance does not represent a separate financial assistance program. Instead, it is a way for applicants living with a debilitating medical condition to receive fast-track consideration for disability benefits.

Applying for SSD with a Stroke

Does a Stroke Automatically Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Although a stroke does not automatically get you approved for disability benefits, you can address the financial consequences of a stroke much faster by asking for consideration under the Compassionate Allowance program. When reviewing Compassionate Allowance claims, the SSA refers to a medical guide, called the “Blue Book,” to determine if your claim is eligible for this program. In order for the SSA to green-light your claim for fast-track approval, the symptoms you are experiencing as a result of your medical condition, must meet the severity of symptoms standards established by this federal agency.

The SSA lists a stroke under the “Vascular insult to the brain” section (11.04) of the Blue Book. Section 11.04 lists debilitating symptoms of strokes such as the inability to speak and/or understand what other people say when they speak. Paralysis of the face, arm, and/or leg can develop suddenly to Can I Work After a Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident)?

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