Hundreds of thousands of Americans have strokes each year. Strokes are notoriously unpredictable and have the potential to cause serious physical, emotional, and financial strain. Those affected severely may even be unable to complete daily tasks or return to work after a stroke.
If your stroke has left you in need of daily assistance, then Social Security disability benefits may be right for you. Created to help those in need, disability benefits provide monthly financial assistance to disabled Americans and their families. Before starting the application, continue below to learn the top 3 tips for an applicant with complications from a stroke.
Tip #1: Compile medication lists and all hospital records from before and after your stroke.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires applicants to submit as much medical evidence as possible when completing the application. Because most strokes are sudden and unexpected, the majority of applicants provide all medical evidence starting after the initial stroke. However, providing medical evidence from before the incident can give the SSA a better idea of just how much your stroke has limited you. For example, most people who suffer strokes are over age 65 and have some form of preexisting medical condition. Showing medical records from before a stroke may help the SSA here by showing an increased severity or frequency of a preexisting condition.
Tip #2: Ask for testimonies from your therapist to show progress following the stroke.
Most severe stroke survivors require some form of therapy after the event, from physical therapy to speech therapy to psychological therapy. While therapy session notes are vital to an application, even therapist testimonies can be a positive addition for an applicant to include. Therapists develop a relationship with their clients and can give valuable, official opinions on your development that the SSA regards highly when reviewing an application. Even physicians, old bosses, past coworkers, or close friends and family members can provide testimonies to include with an application to prove you cannot work. In general, the more information you provide, the more likely you are to receive benefits.
Tip #3: Get assistance filling out your Social Security application.
A majority of people require assistance in various ways after a stroke. Some experience numbness or a loss of motor skills, while others experience mental damage that makes it harder to think or function normally. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to get assistance while filling out an application. The most common way to get help is by having a close friend or family member fill out the application for you while you dictate your answers. You can also call your local Social Security office to have a representative fill out your forms for you over the phone. For a more permanent fix, you can also look into different forms of assistive technology (alternate computer devices, voice-to-text dictation programs, etc.) to better help you complete the form on your own.
Contacting an Attorney
While it may seem intimidating, contacting a disability attorney is a simple and beneficial way to ensure your application is the best it can be. Disability attorneys can file and organize your paperwork, submit updates to the SSA, and provide legal representation if your case needs to appeal. Even better, attorneys are not allowed to take payment from you unless you win your case.
To give yourself the best chance at getting the benefits you deserve, consider speaking with a Social Security disability attorney today.