This post discusses how the Social Security Administration evaluates your claim for disability insurance if you have experienced a traumatic brain Injury (TBI). If you or someone you know has suffered a TBI and are considering filing for SSDI or SSI, read on for how the Social Security Administration will evaluate your claim.
According to the CDC, there are at least 1.7 million TBIs that occur in the U.S. every year and an estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with a disability due to a traumatic brain injury. Found here. TBIs can result from a blow, bump, jolt or penetration that interrupts the normal function of the brain. This disruption can be mild or severe. A mild TBI can still cause confusion, headaches, mood changes, fatigue, problems sleeping and depression. A moderate to severe TBI can cause severe confusion, agitation, slurred speech or weakness/numbness in toes and fingers (via the Mayo Clinic). In addition, studies have shown that major depression usually occurs after a traumatic brain injury.
In order for you to be found disabled by the Social Security Administration, you have to show that your disability is going to last for at least a year OR result in death. It is possible that with the right therapy and medications, your disability from your TBI might not last a year. Following your doctor’s advice is important for your recovery. If you are following your doctor’s advice but still have cognitive or other symptoms that are preventing you from returning to work filing for Social Security Disability may be the right choice for you.
The Social Security Administration can evaluate traumatic brain injuries in different ways. Your TBI may cause you to have seizures that prevent you from working. If so, the SSA will use Listing 11.02 Epilepsy . Or your TBI may have left you with severe psychiatric impairments discussed in Listing 12.02 Organic Mental Disorders . In addition you can be evaluated under Listing 11.04 Central Nervous System Vascular Accident (CVA or stroke).
Are you experiencing seizures that medication will not control? Are you three months post TBI and still experiencing speech/motor function problems? Are you unable to do things mentally/physically that you could do with ease before your TBI? Has your family described you as “a totally different person” than you were before your TBI? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may meet one of the above listings. Even if you do not meet these listings, you still may be found disabled based on the combination of your symptoms.
If you are following your doctor’s advice regarding your Traumatic Brain Injury but are still unable to work due to your symptoms, file a claim for SSA Disability insurance as soon as possible and call the Bishop Law Firm. We want to help!