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Brain Hemorrhage and SSA Disability Benefits

Brain hemorrhage or bleeding in the brain is caused when arteries in the brain burst, destroying the surrounding cells and tissues. Other common names for this condition include cerebral hemorrhages, intracranial hemorrhages, or intracerebral hemorrhages.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Head CT showing deep intracerebral hemorrhage due to bleeding within the cerebellum."]Head CT showing deep intracerebral hemorrhage ...[/caption]

Arteries can become weakened and burst for a variety of reasons including tumors, brain trauma, aneurysms, amyloid angiopathy, or high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes; in fact, according to medical sources 80% of patients who experience a brain hemorrhage also have a history of high blood pressure.

Symptoms of a Brain Hemorrhage

Claimants who have a brain hemorrhage experience a wide range of symptoms including:

  1. Numbness or paralysis in the body

  2. Severe stroke

  3. Loss of consciousness

  4. Severe headache

  5. Loss of motor skills

  6. Difficulty swallowing, speaking, understanding or writing

  7. Lethargy

  8. Loss of balance or coordination

  9. Difficulty comprehending others

  10. Seizures

Consider, many of these conditions are also symptoms of other disorders so it is important for claimants who are experiencing any of these conditions to see a doctor immediately.

CT scans and MRI scans can confirm the diagnosis, and treatments such as a lumbar puncture can be used in some cases to remove the fluid. Doctors can also use other surgical techniques, depending on the type and severity of the patient’s condition, to help the condition. A severe hemorrhage may leave some claimants with loss of basic functionality while others may completely recover.

Winning SSDI or SSI for Brain Hemorrhage

The SSA has two methods of determining whether a claimant is eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). First, the SSA will consider whether a claimant’s condition meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA listing of Impairments (also known as the Blue Book this listing identifies all of the conditions and symptoms the SSA finds automatically disabling). If the claimant’s condition is not on the list the SSA will determine if they can continue to work their current job, past work or retrain for new work.

Meeting a Listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Brain Hemorrhage

If you have had a brain hemorrhage the SSA will evaluate your remaining functionality and symptoms and determine if they are as severe as a listing on the SSA listing of Impairments. Residual conditions for a hemorrhage could be as severe as many listings identified under 11.00 Neurological.

For example, if you have residual paralysis after the hemorrhage it could meet the listing identified under 11.14 Peripheral Neuropathies which includes “significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station.”

Proving through a medical vocational allowance that you cannot work

If your condition does not “meet or exceed” a listing you may be able to win SSI or SSDI by proving that you cannot continue to work. This can be done if your medical records clearly show severe limitations to maintaining your current job or retraining for new work.

For instance, if you could prove that you lack sufficient coordination or balance to walk, stand or sit for any length of time or your residual mental capabilities have severely limited your ability to comprehend instructions or complete simple tasks you may be able to prove that you cannot work. If you have additional health conditions such as high blood pressure or paralysis, it could increases your chances of winning SSI or SSDI.
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