Getting Social Security Disability Benefits After a Brain Injury

Getting Social Security Disability Benefits After a Brain Injury

Suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have life-altering consequences that can impact your physical health and your ability to work. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits which provide financial support. Understanding the process of applying for SSDI benefits after a TBI is essential to navigate this system successfully.

Sustaining a Brain Injury

TBIs can occur from various incidents, including traffic accidents, falls, assaults, and sports injuries. These injuries range from mild concussions to severe brain trauma, with symptoms ranging from memory loss and headaches, to loss of consciousness and motor function impairment. Regardless of the severity, TBIs can significantly hurt an individual’s ability to work and perform daily tasks, making access to SSDI benefits essential for financial stability.

How the SSA Treats Brain Injuries

In late 2016, the Social Security Administration (SSA) introduced a disability listing specifically for TBIs (listing 11.18) under neurological disorders. To qualify for benefits under this listing, individuals must provide medical records documenting specific symptoms or issues. This includes having an extreme limitation in the ability to stand from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or in the use of the upper extremities, persisting for at least three consecutive months after the injury. This listing also considers whether the claimant has a marked limitation in physical functioning and in various areas of mental functioning persisting at least three consecutive months after the injury.

The SSDI application process requires documentation on how the TBI impacts your ability to work. It is essential to provide medical records, including diagnostic tests, treatment plans, and physician statements outlining the severity of the injury and its effects on your daily functioning. Additionally, you can strengthen your case for disability benefits by describing how the TBI affects your residual functional capacity (RFC), including physical limitations, cognitive impairments, and emotional functioning.

Understanding the concept of the “date last insured” (DLI) is vital when applying for SSDI benefits. Your DLI is the last date you are eligible to qualify for SSDI benefits based on your work history. The SSA reviews your earnings history for the past 10 years to determine your eligibility. If you sustained your TBI and became disabled after your DLI, you may not qualify for SSDI benefits, which is why it is important to make a timely application.

Work With an SSDI Attorney When Seeking Benefits for a Brain Injury

Seeking assistance from experienced Social Security Disability professionals could provide invaluable support during the application process. We help gather necessary documentation, prepare a compelling case, and navigate the appeals process if initial applications are denied. Our knowledge may streamline the process and increase the likelihood of approval.

Obtaining SSDI benefits after a traumatic brain injury requires preparation, documentation, and an understanding of how the SSA works. By providing detailed medical records and seeking appropriate legal assistance, you could improve your odds of securing the financial assistance you need during your recovery.

Contact us for a free, confidential consultation. We will fight for the benefits you deserve and help you get it done correctly from the start.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law