Applying for Disability on Behalf of Someone in a Coma

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Disability benefits ensure an income, even when a person is in a coma or persistent vegetative state (PVS). This income, which may be paid through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), can help cover medical expenses.

Your loved one may still have every day bills, even while receiving dedicated, round the clock medical care. Disability can help cover these bills too, which may include things like the rent or mortgage and utility bills, among others.

Medically Qualifying for Disability for a Coma

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the inherent severity of a coma, and therefore has a standard disability listing for this condition. The listing appears in 11.20 of the Blue Book, the manual used for determining whether an applicant qualifies medically for benefits.

Any person who slips into a coma, regardless of the reason, can qualify under this listing, provided the coma lasts at least a month. Individuals who are in a PVS automatically medically qualify under this listing too, as long as the condition meets the one-month minimum duration.

If your loved one has recently awoken from a coma and experiences pronounced physical and/or mental deficits, then the SSA may need to consult other disability listings when evaluating the claim you submit. This is particularly true if the coma was caused by another medical condition, like a traumatic brain injury or a stroke, for example.

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