Brasure Law Firm, PLLC

By: Chris Brasure

How to Get Disability for Traumatic Brain Injury

Personal Injury

Who is Eligible for Long-Term Disability for a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is life-threatening and happens when a severe blow hits the head, causing damage to the brain. Sustaining a TBI can have life-long consequences, such as cognitive challenges that require ongoing rehabilitative care. Treating the injuries can be expensive, and life can become difficult due to loss of earning capacity.

That’s why you should consider filing a long-term disability insurance claim to help you cope and improve the quality of your life. If you need help figuring out where to start, a skilled Edinburg personal injury attorney can provide the legal counsel and assistance you need. Your lawyer can look into your case and help you file a claim while fighting for a favorable outcome.

Everyone is at risk of sustaining a TBI due to exposure to various events that precipitate the condition, including:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Car and motorcycle collisions
  • Domestic abuse, assault, and other acts of violence
  • Workplace injuries
  • Sports injuries

Is Traumatic Brain Injury a Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) thoroughly evaluates your application before approving the disability claim. A TBI is not always a disability, and you may still be able to return to work after recovery. Symptoms vary from mild and short-lived to severe and life-threatening, such as torn brain tissue and physical brain damage.

Some symptoms are considered permanent and may prevent you from earning a living through gainful employment. The symptoms may appear immediately after the accident or days afterward. Let an experienced brain injury lawyer in Edinburg evaluate your case and advise if your TBI qualifies as a disability.

Disabling Physical Symptoms of TBIs

A TBI can be disabling physically or cognitively, or both. The disabling physical symptoms of a TBI include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Convulsions and seizures or development of epilepsy
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Abnormal sleep patterns

These symptoms fall under the Requirement A category of the Disability Evaluation. They must result in an extreme limitation in the ability to stand up from a sitting position or balance while standing. The symptoms must also be persistent for over three months after the injury.

Disabling Cognitive Symptoms of a TBI

Cognitive symptoms that may indicate a disability following a traumatic brain injury include the following:

  • Difficulty with thinking, focus, and attention
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Impaired short or long-term memory
  • Uncontrollable mood swings
  • Trouble interacting with others or maintaining pace

These disabling cognitive symptoms of a TBI fall under the Requirement B category of the Disability Evaluation by SSA. You or your loved one must exhibit limitation in one of the three areas for at least three consecutive months following the injury.

If you or your loved one has these symptoms after sustaining a TBI, consult a skilled Edinburg brain injury lawyer for legal counsel. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case and guide you on the steps needed to get disability insurance based on the TBI.

What Are the Requirements to Qualify for Disability?

The SSA requires that you satisfy specific requirements under two categories:

Work Requirements

Under this category, you must undergo two tests:

The duration of work test that determines if you have worked long enough to be covered under the Social Security Disability Insurance. The current work test evaluates whether you’ve worked enough in the recent past for the work to count toward coverage.

Medical Eligibility Requirement

This test serves to establish the following factors:

  • The severity of your medical condition
  • Whether your disability is “total”
  • Whether your medical condition is on the List of Impairments that qualify as severe disabilities
  • Whether you can do the work you did before the injury
  • Whether you can do any other type of work

Gathering all your medical records about the TBI is crucial in enhancing a favorable outcome in your disability claim. Objective medical evidence is a critical piece of documentation that supports your disability claim. The SSA may also ask for diagnostic imaging, hospital records from your TBI, proof of medications, or evidence of rehabilitative care or therapy.

How Much Does Disability Pay with Traumatic Brain Injury?

How much you get for disability depends on the severity of the injuries. However, your brain injury attorney in Edinburg may be able to help you get an idea of what you receive for monthly disability benefit payments. They can review your annual statement of Social Security Taxes and other related records, such as earning history and average indexed monthly earnings.

If the SSA approves your application, you will receive disability benefits starting from the sixth month since the injury. However, the process can sometimes be complicated, and your benefits may take a long time to be paid. In that case, the SSA will award back pay, dating back to the date you initially filed the disability claim until the claim was approved.

Retroactive Payments for a TBI

The SSA may award retroactive disability benefits if applicable, dating as far as 12 months before your disability application. These payments come into play only if you can show that you were disabled for at least five months before filing your application.

Consult your personal injury attorney in Edinburg for further guidance to help you get the process right.

An Experienced Brain Injury Attorney Helping You Claim Disability After a TBI

Filing a disability claim following a TBI can be lengthy and complex. You can increase your chances of receiving the benefits by hiring a skilled and aggressive brain injury lawyer in Edinburg to look into your case and provide the legal representation you need.

Our law firm represents clients in personal injury cases, including traumatic brain injuries. Our lawyers are skilled and knowledgeable in personal injury law to help clients achieve the desired objectives for their claims. Call Brasure Law Firm, PLLC, at (956) 903-2873 to schedule a FREE initial case evaluation.

By Brasure Law Firm, PLLC