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Q: My mom recently had a stroke; will she qualify for SSDI benefits if she applies?

A:

We are sorry to hear about your mother's stroke, but she is lucky to have you to help her. When victims’ of strokes try to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) on their own, they often have a great deal of trouble with such a complex task and often find they are denied on their first attempt. With the help of a family member, your mom has a much better chance of having her disability application approved the first time around.

According to the National Stroke Association, between 50 and 70 percent of stroke survivors regain functional independence, but 15 to 30 percent are left permanently disabled. Because of this, strokes are considered to be a leading cause of adult long-term disability. Whether or not your mom receives SSDI benefits will depend on the severity of her current disability. She does not need to be permanently disabled, but the physical and/or mental impairment that is preventing her from working should be expected to last a year or more. The Social Security Administration will also need to see that she cannot perform the work she used to do before the stroke and she cannot adjust to new work.

When you help your mother apply for disability benefits, be sure to have copies of all her medical records. You can never send too much evidence to the SSA; your goal is to prove the disability so your mom is able to receive the benefits she so desperately needs. If you need help with the application or appealing a denial, the Social Security disability attorneys at Schmidt Kramer can be extremely helpful.

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