Disability Benefits for traumatic brain injury

 

There are different types of brain injuries, and traumatic brain injury occurs when there is sudden damage caused to the brain as a result of internal bleeding, swelling, or bruising. The most common causes of these injuries are impacts to the head resulting from falls, assaults, traffic accidents, and sports injuries. 

Is TBI a Disability?

TBI can be critical injuries that lead to both physical and psychological impairments. The symptoms of the condition can range from mild to severe. Mild traumatic brain injuries are also called concussions. In a mild TBI, an individual may not lose consciousness, or they may lose consciousness for less than 30 minutes. Common symptoms relating to concussive injuries include dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, memory loss, and fatigue.

If a person experiences loss of consciousness for 30 minutes or longer, they may have suffered a severe TBI. When a person incurs a severe TBI, they will likely experience cognitive impairments. They may also face difficulties with sleeping patterns, thinking abilities, speaking, and expressive and receptive language. These life-altering symptoms can last for months, years, or a lifetime. If you have suffered a TBI and are experiencing these symptoms, you will likely have difficulties while working because of your TBI disability. One of the options available to you is to seek disability benefits for your condition. 

It is important to note that the Social Security Administration added a new listing for traumatic brain injury in late 2016. Earlier, the condition was listed under other medical conditions, namely epilepsy, stroke, or mental disorders.

Now, the condition has been included under neurological disorders (listing 11.8). Therefore, TBI is considered a condition for which an individual could qualify for disability benefits. If your condition prevents you from working, you can seek disability benefits on that basis.

Eligibility Criteria for Traumatic Brain Injury Disability

There are certain criteria that an individual who has a traumatic brain injury must be able to fulfill in order to receive disability benefits. There are also other options available to people who are suffering from a traumatic brain injury but do not meet the stringent eligibility criteria. To receive benefits, applicants must have sufficient medical records and evidence to prove that their condition is severe and has significantly affected their life. The medical records must demonstrate that:

  • The condition has limited your ability to control the movement of at least two of your extremities. For example, you may be able to meet this requirement if you experiencing difficulties while trying to balance or stand.

OR

Another requirement to receive TBI disability benefits is that you must have marked limitation in any of the three areas listed below:

  • Thinking abilities, including understanding, using information, and remembering information
  • Finishing tasks, including limitations on concentration or problems with the speed of completion
  • Controlling one’s behavior, including responding or adapting to changes in one’s environment
  • Interacting or socializing with other people

You must fulfill the above-mentioned criteria to receive disability benefits. Most people suffering from mild TBI will not qualify according to these criteria. However, there are other ways for people experiencing the symptoms of mild TBI to receive disability benefits. They can receive disability benefits under the medical-vocational allowance.

Medical-Vocational Allowance for TBI

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for Social Security disability benefits, you may be evaluated based on your residual functional capacity, or RFC. Your RFC will be the measure of strength-related work that you can perform with your limitations in your current state. It will help in determining whether your current job is the cause of the limitations.

The Social Security Administration will consider various factors, such as age, work history, and education to determine your RFC. If your RFC demonstrates that you are no longer able to perform that specific work, you may receive medical allowance disability benefits. However, if your RFC shows that you can work despite having a disability, you may not receive these benefits.

Your age can also play a significant role in helping you get disability benefits for TBI. This is because the Social Security Administration recognizes the fact that it can be more difficult to find a new job when you are older. Therefore, it may be slightly easier to get approved for the disability benefits. The Social Security Administration considers multiple factors when determining your eligibility. If you are confused about whether you may qualify, you can get in touch with an experienced attorney. They can help you understand the eligibility criteria and the procedure for TBI disability claims.

SSDI Benefits for Brain Damage Disability

You can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if you meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria for TBIs are quite different than for most disabling conditions. For other forms of disability, you may seek disability benefits if the condition prevents you from working for a period of 12 months. However, when you are seeking disability benefits relating to a TBI, your condition will be assessed three months after suffering the traumatic brain injury.

If the Social Security Administration determines that you are not disabled as a result of your TBI, you will be assessed again. If there is still no finding for the disability, the claimant will be reassessed six months after.

All of these factors can help in determining whether an individual meets the eligibility requirements. You will be required to have medical documentation to prove your disability and the severity of the condition. Some of the types of documents may include:

  • Results of X-rays
  • Results of MRIs and other medical tests
  • Emergency room records
  • Clinic room records and notes from the doctor
  • Neuropsychological testing reports
  • Notes of counselor
  • Written statements from family, relatives, friends, and employers about your current situation and how you have changed after becoming disabled

If you are suffering from any other condition in addition to the TBI, you will be required to present documents and evidence to prove that. For example, many people with TBI suffer from various mental health conditions as a result. If you have comprehensive evidence that demonstrates your disabling condition and limitations, the chances of getting approved for disability benefits can be significantly higher. Therefore, you must focus on gathering all these significant pieces of evidence to prove your medical condition.

Can You Qualify for TBI SSI disability?

SSI, or Supplemental Security Insurance, has different requirements for eligibility. The main difference is the individual’s financial need. You may be eligible to receive SSI disability benefits only if you meet the specified financial criteria and have limited sources of income. SSI is awarded only to people who are experiencing a financial crisis. Therefore, it is important to check the income limitations rules before applying. If you have limited income and resources, you may be approved for SSI benefits. Otherwise, you can seek benefits through SSDI or under the medical-vocational allowance system.

Speak to Experienced Disability Attorneys

If you have sustained TBI, it is critical to seek immediate medical attention. Your healthcare provider can help determine the severity of your injury and whether you have severe or mild limitations. You can then consult an experienced attorney to seek disability benefits. A lawyer can assist you with completing the legal paperwork and important documents. When you work with a seasoned lawyer, you will not have to worry about making any mistakes in the application process. Your lawyer can take charge and ensure that you meet all of the required deadlines. Missing a deadline could lead to denial of benefits, causing you to have to start the whole procedure again. Having a legal professional on your side may increase the likelihood that you will be approved.