Finding SSD Benefits After a Stroke

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, leading to 140,000 deaths every year. Additionally, many stroke survivors are left with debilitating impairments. When someone faces permanent damage after surviving a stroke, can they qualify for Social Security Disability?

What is a Stroke?

A stroke or a “brain attack” occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off. This can lead to oxygen deprivation. There are two main types of strokes:

  1. ischemic, which occurs due to blocked or narrowed arteries in the brain
  2. hemorrhagic, which happens when blood vessels in the brain leak or rupture

Both types can be fatal, and may lead to symptoms such as:

  • Trouble with speaking or understanding
  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arms, or legs
  • Blurred, blackened, or doubled vision
  • Severe headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance and coordination

Strokes tend to affect people over the age of 55, but people of any age can be affected. Along with aging, other risks factors include obesity, smoking and heavy alcohol use, and other health conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

The Aftermath of a Stroke

After a stroke, survivors might experience issues like:

  • Difficulty talking or swallowing
  • Coordination problems
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Weakness and numbness

When someone suffers from physical and cognitive issues, it can affect their ability to work. For example, someone might be unable to lift heavy boxes after losing most of the strength in one side of their body, or someone who works in an office might have trouble with keeping track of their daily tasks due to memory loss. When someone is unable to work due to their symptoms, they might be able to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

SSD After a Stroke

For stroke complications to qualify for SSD, they must meet requirements under the “vascular insult to the brain” category in the Social Security Administration’s List of Impairments. To be considered for disability, stroke survivors must display at least one of the following sets of symptoms for at least three months:

  1. The inability to speak or write effectively
  2. The inability to control the movements of at least two extremities
  3. Limitations in thinking, interactions, finishing tasks, and regulating emotions or controlling behavior

In some cases, vision loss after a stroke might also qualify someone for SSD.

Like with any other condition, a stroke will only qualify someone for SSD if it affects their ability to perform any work. If someone can still do a job, even if it’s not the job they were doing before their stroke, they might not qualify.

A stroke is a frightening medical emergency. Dealing with SSD applications on top of lingering complications can be difficult for stroke survivor and their loved ones. If you are seeking SSD due to stroke-related complications, consider speaking with an experienced SSD attorney.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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