You’ve suffered a stroke. The stroke has affected your ability to speak and to move one side of your body. You’re not able to return to work, and the doctors won’t or can’t give you any answers.  You decide to apply for Social Security disability (SSDI), but you find out that your claim has been deferred for 90 days. What is going on?

As a policy, the Social Security Administration defers all applications that involve stroke for at least 90 days after the cerebrovascular accident. This is because the prognosis for a stroke survivor can change dramatically during that period.

A stroke occurs when there is an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain, and the lack of oxygen causes an injury to the brain. This damage to the brain cells can leave the stroke survivor with both physical and cognitive problems. At first, the damage may be severe.  The stroke survivor may be unable to communicate, or one side of the body may be completely paralyzed. However, over time, skills start to come back. The greatest of improvement usually occurs in the first month after the stroke.

Rehabilitation can also help undo some of the stroke damage. Stroke rehabilitation may include:

  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Psychological counseling
  • Electrical muscle stimulation

The Social Security Administration believes that it is impossible to know the long-term outcome for a stroke survivor in the first 90 days after the stroke. However, this doesn’t mean that you should wait three months to apply for SSDI. It takes time to go through the Social Security application process. Getting your application in early means you will get benefits faster. You can learn more about SSDI for stroke survivors and the SSDI application process in our free booklet, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

Not sure if you should apply? Need help with your application? Contact the Bellevue disability benefit lawyers at Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 for a free case evaluation.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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