Finding support after a stroke is necessary for most people. In fact, most people will need to gain some form of financial support to help offset the amount of money that they’re not receiving because they can no longer work. Strokes, which are also called cerebral vascular accidents, can be deadly, debilitating for years or the rest of the person’s life, or debilitating for a few years with significant improvement over time. Getting the SSDI disability insurance that the patient needs is important, but applicants and the loved ones who are applying for them on their behalf need information and help in filling out the paperwork correctly.
What is a Cerebral Vascular Accident?
When a certain part of the brain doesn’t get the blood supply that it needs because it has been cut off or reduced, brain cells begin to die in minutes, resulting in a stroke. The brain cells begin to die because they’re not getting the oxygen and nutrients that they need from the blood.
People who are having a stroke need immediate medical attention to improve the likelihood that they’ll both survive the stroke and be able to make a recovery.
There are two types of strokes: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. An ischemic stroke is caused by a block in an artery. This type of stroke can last for a long time, or it can be transient, so it doesn’t cause symptoms that last. This type of stroke is also the most common. Basically, fatty deposits and narrowing of the arteries cut off the supply of blood to a certain part of the brain.
A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel bursts, so blood doesn’t reach certain parts of the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes can be caused by one or more of several different factors. For instance, high blood pressure, being on blood thinners, and weak spots in the walls of the vein can all contribute to a hemorrhagic stroke.
Transient ischemic strokes are sometimes called mini strokes. While people can make full recoveries from mini strokes, they should still be careful about them because a mini stroke means that the conditions are right to have a full stroke later. A person also can’t tell if they’re having a mini stroke or are going to have a full stroke right away.
Symptoms of a Cerebral Vascular Accident
One of the most well-known symptoms of a stroke is paralysis on one side of the face, arm, or leg. People who think that they might be having a stroke can try lifting both arms to see if one of them falls. One side of the face might also droop, so it will be impossible to smile on the affected side.
Otherwise, a friend or family member will be able to know if they likely are having a stroke by looking at their face and body and listening to the way that they speak to determine if they have a drooping face or speaking difficulties.
Another common symptom is slurred speech and an inability to understand what others are saying. General confusion about a conversation is a common symptom that goes along with the other language deficits.
Along with speech difficulties, eyesight can also be affected, resulting in blurred vision or a complete blackout in one or both eyes. This will partly depend on where the aneurysm or blockage is located.
Difficulty walking or maintaining balance is also common, so people often stumble, lose their balance, or have a complete lack of coordination.
Finally, headache and dizziness are also common. Some people will also vomit or even lose consciousness.
Treatments for Cerebral Vascular Accident
The type of treatment that a patient receives once they arrive at the hospital will depend on the type of stroke that they’re having. Diagnosis and treatment will happen quickly to restore blood flow to the affected part of the brain as quickly as possible.
People who are having a ischemic stroke will be given an IV of medications. These medicines must be administered within about four hours of the first symptoms to reduce complications and optimize the chances of survival. An IV of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator is given to the patient to break up the blood clot.
Sometimes an IV isn’t the best form of treatment for every patient. Another option is to deliver the medication directly to the brain by threading a catheter in through the groin directly to the brain.
A third option is to directly remove the clot from the brain with a stent retriever. The device is attached to a catheter to remove a clot that’s large and can’t be completely broken up with a recombinant tissue plasminogen activator.
To prevent further ischemic strokes, a doctor might also insert a stent or do a carotid endarterectomy.
The treatment for a hemorrhagic stroke can involve one or more of several measures. For instance, a doctor might give medications to counteract blood thinners. They might also repair the vessels through surgery, place clamps on the aneurysm, or do a stereotactic rediosurgery.
Once the person is stabilized, they will likely need a number of therapies to restore functioning. For instance, many people have to go to speech therapy, physical therapy, dietitian, or occupational therapy.
Disability Benefits for Cerebral Vascular Accidents
Having a stroke can majorly upset a person’s life for many months or years until they’re able to regain functioning. Throughout that time, they’ll need to find a way to pay bills. SSDI benefits are one source of income that a person recovering from a stroke can use to pay for the mortgage and other major expenses.
To qualify for disability insurance, an applicant must meet certain criteria listed under the stroke section of the Blue Book. In order to obtain benefits, the applicant must have a certain set of symptoms for at least three months after the stroke.
The first set of symptoms is the inability to speak or write proficiently. Speaking can either be fluent but nonsensical, or it can be a difficulty forming words.
Another set of symptoms that a person applying can have that would qualify them is an inability to control at least two limbs. For instance, it might be a leg and an arm, two legs, or two arms. The inability must be extreme. For instance, the person might have an inability to stand or walk.
Finally, having marked limitations in any of the following areas will also qualify someone. These limitations include:
- Remembering and applying information
- Difficulties with social interactions
- Concentration and speed difficulties
- Controlling behavior and emotions
A small percentage of people suffer vision impairment from a stroke. If it’s been at least three months since the stroke and the applicant still has significant vision problems that make them qualify as legally blind, they’ll be able to gain benefits.
If a person doesn’t meet any of these qualifications, then they can also apply using the residual functioning capacity test, which will determine if there are any jobs that they have the capacity to do.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to a Stroke, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.