I had a stroke but SSA says I can retrain for new work?
Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I suffered a severe stroke several months ago. I applied for SSDI benefits because I could no longer do my current job. Several months later I received notification from the SSA that they did not think I could do my current job, but they do think I could retrain for new work? What does this mean, and what if I cannot retrain for new work?
Millions of claimants apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits each year. Millions of those claimants are also denied benefits for a variety of different reasons. One of the most common denials received by SSDI applicants is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has denied their case because they believe the claimant can retrain for new work.
Retraining for new work after a stroke what does this mean?
After you submit your SSDI application, the SSA will assess whether you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI. Assuming you do, they will send your application to the Disability Determination Services Office (DDS) who will evaluate whether or not you meet the medical requirements for SSDI.
Through this process the DDS will ask several different questions, referred to as the Sequential Evaluation Process. The goal of the DDS is to determine, through the medical evidence provided to the SSA, whether you have the capacity to work given your mental and physical impairments.
After working through the first several questions of the Sequential Evaluation Process, the SSA will eventually get down to the question of whether or not you can retrain for new work.
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) and other work after a stroke
The evaluation for whether or not a claimant can do other work gets a bit complicated, but basically, the SSA has a process to determine the residual functional capacity or RFC of an applicant to do other work which exists in the national economy.
In this step, unlike other previous steps, the SSA will consider an individual's age, education and work experience. According to the SSA, if they determine that a claimant has the ability to meet the physical and mental demands of a significant number of jobs (in one or more occupations) in the national economy, and the individual has the vocational capabilities (considering age, education, and past work experience) to make an adjustment to work different from that performed in the past, it shall be determined that the individual is not disabled.
What can you do to prove you cannot work other jobs with a stroke?
If you have had a stroke and the SSA states that you can work another job, you will have to provide medical evidence that you do not have the capacity to do so.
The first step is to take a look at your medical evidence. Does it clearly state your diagnosis, prognosis, and limitations to work? If yes, then you may need additional medical evidence.
The next step is to understand how the SSA defines sedentary work and what limitations will keep you from performing this type of work. For example, do you have the ability to lift more than 10 pounds? Can you sit for 6 of 8 hours per day? Do your stroke symptoms limit your ability to do any type of fine motor activities?
If you can prove that you do not have the ability to work even a sedentary job due to your stroke symptoms, you should be approved for SSDI.
If you have been denied for other work you will have to prove you cannot perform other jobs available in the national economy. Talk to a lawyer for more information.
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