According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, more than 700,000 Americans suffer from a stroke each year. The adverse symptoms of a stroke can include memory loss, lack of concentration, and difficulty maintaining motor skills. Although a stroke can lead to workplace challenges, around 50 percent of stroke patients eventually return to the workforce in some capacity.
If you suffered a stroke and are at least 50 years old, you might have a better chance of receiving disability benefits than a younger than 50-year-old worker who deals with the symptoms of the neurological disorder.
Stroke and SSA Grid Rules
The Social Security Administration (SSA) refers to a grid to determine eligibility for disability benefits for older workers. SSA grid rules analyze factors such as age, education level, professional skills, and the ability to perform manual labor to review applications for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA refers to grid rules because the older a worker gets, the less likely the worker receives consideration for an entry-level job. This means that if you are at least 50 years old, the SSA might determine that a stroke can prevent you from completing less demanding job functions.
Learn more about why applying for disability benefits at 50 or above can make you eligible for financial assistance.
What Kind of Work Can I Do After a Stroke?
Your chances of getting back to work after a stroke at 50 depend on your job description, as well as your prognosis of making a full recovery and the accommodations your employer provides for you. Stroke victims can return to a full-time role if their employers reduce their workloads. Because a stroke diminishes cognitive skills, you might have fewer responsibilities and a reduction in job tasks that require considerable mental capabilities.
Working from home can help you deal with fatigue and issues with mobility. Jobs such as transcription, graphic design, and video editing allow you to work at a slower pace, yet get projects completed on time. Jobs that require little or no interactions with customers give you an opportunity to work in a more physically demanding position.
The Importance of Meeting Blue Book Medical Criteria
A team of medical examiners from the SSA refers to a medical guide called the Blue Book to determine your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA lists a stroke in Section 11.04 of the Blue Book, which covers the most debilitating types of neurological medical conditions. In addition to listing qualifying medical conditions, the Blue Book also sets the medical standards for establishing the severity of symptoms.
Your stroke symptoms must result in ineffective speech that lasts for three consecutive months after the stroke incident. You must suffer from a lack of motor control in two extremities, such as in the hands, fingers, arms, and legs. Learn more about qualifying for Social Security disability benefits after a stroke to improve your chances of receiving approval.
Consult with a Social Security Disability Attorney
Because the SSA denies a majority of disability claims, you should consider hiring a Social Security lawyer to boost your chances of receiving financial assistance with a stroke after 50. An attorney monitors the progress of your application as it moves through the SSA system. You also benefit from legal counsel because a lawyer helps your collect and organize the medical records you need to establish that suffering from a stroke has significantly made a negative impact on your career.