Strokes and Disability

A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident, is a sudden shutdown of brain function because of a rapid loss of blood supply to the brain. Usual causes of a stroke include ischemia, a lack of blood flow, a blockage of the blood flow like thrombosis or arterial embolism, or a hemorrhage. The affected area of the brain loses all of its control, usually resulting in an inability to understand or formulate speech, a loss of movement of one or more limbs, or trouble with complete vision skills.

Strokes typically fall into four categories:

  1. Cerebral thrombus is when a blood clot in a brain artery causes a blockage, usually due to atherosclerosis.
  2. Cerebral embolus is a blood clot formed outside of the brain that travels to the brain and causes blockage of a brain artery.
  3. Cerebral hemorrhage is a blood vessel in the brain that bursts and bleeds into the surrounding tissue, which may be caused by the rupture of a cerebral aneurysm.
  4. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is another burst blood vessel that causes bleeding on the surface of the brain, between the brain and the skull.

There is a fifth type of stroke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is caused by a temporary decrease in blood supply to the brain. Symptoms usually resolve within 24 hours. Unlike the other types of Stroke, TIAs typically do not leave lasting effects. Regardless of cause, all Strokes disrupt the flow of blood through the brain and damage brain tissue.

Depending on which portion of the brain has been affected, a stroke typically affects only one side of the body, especially when it results in a lack of mobility. A stroke is considered a medical emergency, as many incidents cause permanent neurological damage or death. Those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a history of smoking are at the highest risk of getting a stroke. Recognizable symptoms usually accompany a hemorrhagic stroke and include headache, vomiting and a loss of consciousness.

Those who do suffer a stroke will often have to undergo extensive rehabilitation to regain any lost functions, physical or mental. A person’s ability to return to work after a stroke entirely depends on the severity of the attack and on the strength of the individual. The Social Security Administration bases their decisions concerning the approval of disability benefits for stroke patients on the person’s ability to do simple tasks and respond appropriately to normal social routine.
Many of those who have been through a stroke have great difficulty getting back into a working lifestyle.

If you or a loved one wishes to apply for disability because of a stroke, call disability lawyer Nick Ortiz at 850-308-7833 for more information and assistance.