Social Security uses both medical disability criteria and non-medical criteria to determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability (SSDI, the program based on work credits) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI, the low-income program). First, you must be able to prove that you are medically disabled. Second, you must have either earned enough work credits to be considered "insured" under the SSDI program or your income and assets must be low enough to qualify for the SSI program. Social Security still calls the disability listing under which stroke is evaluated "Central Nervous System Vascular Accident," which can be found under the section for neurological impairments. This disability listing is short and to the point. Translated into plain English, it says that to get disability on the basis of stroke, you must not be able to:
(1) speak or write effectively due to either expressive aphasia (having difficulty forming words, also called motor aphasia) or sensory aphasia (characterized by fluent, nonsensical speech and the inability to understand, or also called receptive aphasia), OR
(2) control the movement of two extremities (either an arm and a leg or two arms or two legs), causing serious problems walking and balancing or using your hands to grasp and manipulate objects.
Ask your doctor fill out this listing form for stroke if you think you qualify under this disability listing, and submit it to Social Security with your application.
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