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When Can Stroke Victims Return to Work?


Philadelphia Workers' Compensation lawyers help stroke victims receive the benefits they deserve.A stroke is a medical condition that varies in terms of effects and severity. However, strokes typically cause speech or vision problems, memory loss, and weakness or paralysis in the body. Given these impediments, those who are recovering from a stroke may wonder when they can return to work. Stroke victims’ ability to return to work is largely dependent upon their walking speed, according to a study published in Stroke, the American Heart Association journal.

The Effects of Stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Common effects of stroke include:

  • Cognitive problems
  • Depression
  • Difficulty controlling or expressing emotions
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Numbness
  • Pain in hands and feet
  • Paralysis
  • Weakness

Stroke Rehabilitation

Some may recover fully from a stroke, whereas others may have some long-term disabilities. Those going through stroke rehabilitation may work with speech, physical, and occupational therapists to regain their independence. The National Stroke Association reports that 10 percent of people who have a stroke have a full recovery and 25 percent recover with minor impairments. However, up to 44 percent of those under the age of 65 will not be able to return to work because of walking difficulties.

Walking Speed

The study’s lead author notes that stroke victims must be able to walk to return to work; those who cannot walk or who have difficulty walking are at a serious disadvantage. In the study, 61 participants, 46 of whom were stroke victims, between 18 and 65 years old were asked to walk for three minutes under observation. Researchers reported that the stroke victims who had not returned to work walked slower and less efficiently; 90 percent of those who had returned to work walked faster than three feet per second, with 23 percent averaging nearly six feet per second, whereas those who had not returned to work averaged only 2.5 feet per second.

Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation for a Stroke That Happened at Work?

If an employee suffered a stroke as a result of working conditions, they may be able to collect benefits, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, and vocational training. An employee must prove that the stroke was work-related; stress, extreme heat, or continuous physical exertion are all work conditions that may cause or contribute to the risk of someone having a stroke.

However, other conditions, such as being overweight, having high blood pressure, or having a pre-existing heart condition may predispose an individual to stroke, and these factors can be cited by the insurance company as cause for denying a claim. Workers’ Compensation claims for stroke can be complex, therefore it is advisable to contact a local attorney who can ensure that your case is well-represented.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Gross & Kenny, LLP Help Stroke Victims Receive the Benefits They Deserve

If you suffered a stroke at work, contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Gross & Kenny, LLP. Our experienced attorneys can help you receive the medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, and other benefits you need to recuperate and get back to work. From our office in Philadelphia, we represent injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 267-589-0090.