How to Claim Disability After Minor Stroke

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Man in a wheelchair.
Man in a wheelchair. (Image: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images)

If you recently experienced a minor stroke that is disabling, you may be able to get disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). You may qualify for disability if you are unable to work anymore as a result of the stroke or the symptoms associated with it. In addition, to be considered disabled, your stroke symptoms must be expected to continue for at least a year or until your death, according to the SSA.

Wait three months after having the minor stroke before filing a disability claim. Since some people may fully recover from a stroke while others may continue to experience disabling symptoms afterwards, you should wait at least three months before applying, according to Social Security Disability Help, an informational website that provides advice and resources for people who are looking to apply for disability benefits.

Contact Social Security (ssa.gov) to set up a disability claims appointment with your local office, if you continue to have stroke symptoms or another stroke. Depending on your situation, you will schedule either an in-person or telephone interview.

Read through the Disability Starter Kit, which you will receive in the mail shortly after scheduling an appointment with the SSA. The kit contains information about the disability claims process and other materials that will help you prepare for your interview -- for example, a checklist of information and documents you should have when applying and a worksheet that documents your job and medical history.

Prepare the items on the checklist to bring to your interview. Some documents and information include any medical records you have; worker's compensation settlement information; marriage and divorce dates; and your dependent children and spouse's names and birthdates. The SSA also recommends that you bring the following to your interview: your birth certificate; the contact information of all your medical providers; a list of prescription medications you are taking; and a current W-2 form or federal tax return.

Complete and sign the medical release form that came with the starter kit. The form allows your medical providers to furnish information and medical records to the SSA to help determine whether you qualify for disability.

Fill out the Medical and Job Worksheet as completely as possible. You will be asked to list your medical conditions, medications you are taking, medical tests that you had and information about your past jobs.

Bring the checklist items, the medical release form and the worksheet to your scheduled disability claims interview. If you are having the interview by telephone, have everything handy at the time of your appointment.

During the interview, an SSA worker will help you complete an application form and an Adult Disability Report. The process is expected to last for at least an hour.

Wait for a decision. It usually takes three to five months for the SSA to make a determination on your case. You may appeal the decision if you do not agree with it.

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