If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury, you may be wondering whether you are eligible Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. These benefits are part of the United States Social Security Program that provides benefits to retirement workers but are made available before retirement to people who have become disabled prior to retirement age. As such, they are only available to workers who have accumulated enough social security benefits in the course of their careers.
Provided that you are eligible for benefits, whether you can receive SSD benefits after a TBI depends on how your injury has affected you. It is important to understand that the Social Security Administration has its own definition of disability and will evaluate each case differently. Because TBIs are capable of causing a wide variety of different issues, there are evaluated in a number of different ways. For example, if your TBI has caused to you experience seizures, your case will be evaluated under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines for convulsive and non convulsive seizures.
How Can a TBI Prevent You from Working?
A traumatic brain injury is an extremely serious injury that can affect victims in many ways. Even if you sustain a mild TBI, you may be forced to miss weeks or even months of work. In more serious cases, victims may never be able to work in the same capacity again, if at all. Some of the more common long-term symptoms associated with serious traumatic brain injuries include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disturbances
- Problems with speech and understanding
- Cognitive deficits
- Physical problems
Do Not Give Up after an Initial Denial
Millions of Social Security Disability claims are denied every year because an applicant did not submit sufficient information for the agency to make a decision, the agency did not receive the required records, or the individual making the decision made a mistake. For this reason, you should not get discouraged just because your initial claim after TBI was denied. In fact, as a TBI victim, it is very likely that you are having difficulty organizing information and may also get frustrated easily, so it is highly advisable to retain the assistance of an attorney who understands the SSD application process and who can handle it for you. Some of the ways that a lawyer can help you with your SSD application after a TBI include the following:
- Determining whether you may be eligible for SSD benefits in the first place
- Filling out the application and describing the way in which your injury has affected your life
- Obtaining and submitting medical documentation
- Representing you in any hearing that may be required
Make Sure to Explore Other Sources of Recovery
In many TBI cases, victims are able to pursue multiple sources of recovery. For example, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim after a TBI in addition to receiving SSD benefits. The damages available in a personal injury case will generally far exceed any SSD benefits you may receive and may include compensation for lost income, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of quality of life, among others. Because of the potential for greater recovery, you should always discuss your case with a TBI lawyer to determine your legal options.