Millions of Americans are injured in various ways every year. Some are victims in car accidents, others are injured by faulty products and many others suffer a work-related injury. In the cases of injuries caused by work accidents, most involve a minor injury and the worker can return to his or her job shortly after the injury occurs, or perhaps after a brief period of time off of work for rehabilitation. In these types of cases, many workers get financial support through workers compensation. However, there are many people who suffer severe injuries on the job and are unable to work ever again. Most people who suffer a traumatic brain injury, for instance, fall into this category.
A traumatic brain injury, commonly labeled as “TBI,” can affect a worker in different ways. Some people are able to carry on with a fairly normal life after suffering such an injury, perhaps with only the occasional lapse in memory or slip in motor skills. But there are many more for whom suffering a TBI is an absolute life-changing event.
Sometimes, a serious neurological impairment is evident within three months after incurring an injury, but oftentimes, the extent of a TBI is not fully known until much longer after the injury occurred. In fact, it may take up to six months before the severity of a mental impairment becomes evident. For these people and others whose TBI is of the most serious nature, applying for Social Security Disability may be in their best interest.
In order to qualify for SSD benefits for TBI, it must be proven that the individual is suffering from a mental or neurological impairment. If there are no findings after three months post-injury, the Social Security Administration may defer adjudication of a claim if evidence can be obtained six months after an injury.
Qualifying for SSD benefits for injuries is a meticulous process that will involve gathering the requisite medical documentation in order to meet the federal requirements. But, for workers who suffer a TBI and have no other means of financial support, getting approved for benefits can mean that concerns about lost wages due to the inability to work may be lessened a bit.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security 11.00 Neurological – Adult,” accessed on Dec. 2, 2014