Stroke is the leading cause for long-term serious disabilities in the United States. About 795,000 people suffer a stroke every year. If you are the caregiver of a friend or relative who suffered a stroke and who is now unable to work because of the severity of the stroke’s impact on them, they may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides two different disability programs that your loved one or patient can potentially qualify for. Your loved one may qualify for disability benefits through one or both programs. After their claim has been approved, they will receive back benefits and then regular monthly benefits.
How Your Loved One Can Medically Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
A medical guide, which is referred to as the Blue Book, is used by the SSA to determine if an individual meets the criteria to be approved for disability benefits. To be approved, you will need to provide hard medical evidence and supporting documentation to confirm the severity of your claim and to confirm that the lasting effects of the stroke have left you unable to work.
Disability claims for strokes are considered under Section 11.04 of the Blue Book. To be approved for disability benefits using the listing specifically for strokes, you must have either lost your ability to speak and write completely or it is impaired severely, or you must have pronounced difficulty in controlling or coordinating movement of at last two extremities. If you cannot meet the criteria of either of those requirements, you may qualify using Section 2.02, 2.03, or 2.04 if the stroke caused vision loss, or Section 2.10 if the stroke has caused you to suffer hearing loss.
You must provide detailed medical records that include test and lab results, details about restrictions and limitations, and your prognosis. Without hard medical evidence and detailed documentation, the claim will not be approved, and the claimant will not be awarded disability benefits. Documentation is the key to a successful disability claim.
Becoming a Designated Payee
If you serve as the caregiver of a loved one who can no longer work because of a stroke, you may serve as designated payee for their disability checks. Payments from the SSA are sent electronically, so you would need access to the claimant’s bank account.
Disability benefits can be used for the basic costs of living, such as groceries, utilities, and rent, as well as for medical costs. You should maintain a file of all the receipts just in case the SSA does an inquiry to determine that the funds were used properly and for the claimant’s benefit.
Working With a Lawyer
When applying as caregiver, you may want to seek legal help. Social Security disability attorneys will be able to make sure you have the correct medical evidence to support your patient’s claim. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on behalf of the person you are helping apply to find a disability lawyer in your area today!