Each year in the United States, just shy of 800,000 people suffer from a stroke. This serious medical event occurs when the blood supply stops due to a clot or bursts due to a weakened blood vessel.
Less than 10% of those who survive a stroke can make a full recovery, which means that many might become partially or fully disabled due to this medical event. Since May is National Stroke Awareness Month we want to bring to light the risk factors, the importance of timing to seek treatment, and what stroke survivors can do to successfully apply for social security disability benefits.
Risk Factors Of A Stroke
There are several risk factors for stroke, some of which are modifiable while others are not. Modifiable risk factors can be changed through lifestyle modifications or medical interventions, while non-modifiable risk factors cannot be changed. Here are some of the most common risk factors for stroke:
- High blood pressure: This is the most important risk factor for stroke, as it can cause damage to blood vessels over time and lead to blockages or ruptures.
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking increases the risk of stroke by damaging the blood vessels and promoting the formation of blood clots.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke.
- High cholesterol: High levels of cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to build up in the blood vessels, which can increase the risk of stroke.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of stroke by putting extra strain on the heart and blood vessels.
- Atrial fibrillation: This is a heart condition that can cause blood clots to form in the heart and travel to the brain, leading to a stroke.
- Family history: Having a family history of stroke can increase your risk of developing the condition.
- Age: The risk of stroke increases as you get older, especially after age 55.
- Gender: Women have a higher risk of stroke than men.
- Race: African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans are at a higher risk of stroke than Caucasians.
There have also been several studies since early 2020 that have listed Covid-19 infections as a major risk factor for a stroke. For at least one year following infection by this vascular virus, patients will see a 52% increased risk of experiencing a stroke due.
Timing Is Everything
If you or a loved one suspect you’re facing a stroke then seeking medical care sooner rather than later is key to preserving your health. The three types of strokes that occur include a transient ischemic attack, ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke. Regardless of the type of stroke you’re facing, seeking treatment within 1 to 4 hours means you can receive life-saving medication and medical care to ensure better outcomes. Beyond this timing your chances of survival and preserving the health of your brain significantly plummet.
Disability After A Stroke
If you’re facing severe limitations in your daily life and are unable to work as a result of a stroke, then applying for social security disability insurance (SSDI) might be your best option.
A stroke can qualify for disability benefits, but the process of getting approved for disability benefits can be complex
To qualify for disability benefits after a stroke, you must meet the SSA’s definition of disability, which includes having a medical condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months and prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). This can include performing basic daily tasks like cleaning, grocery shopping, working and traveling to perform these tasks.
If you have had a stroke that has left you with residual impairment, such as difficulty with walking, talking, or performing daily activities, you may be eligible for disability benefits. However, the extent of your disability, your age, education, work experience, and other factors will be taken into account in determining whether you meet the SSA’s criteria for disability.
To apply for disability benefits, you will need to complete an application and provide medical evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, test results, and statements from your treating physicians.
It can be helpful to work with an experienced disability attorney that can advocate and guide you through the application process. At Grundy Disability Group, we can help ensure that your claim is properly documented and supported. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for your claim.