Applying for SSDI and SSI benefits after a brain injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can leave a victim with a wide variety of very serious physical and mental symptoms, and in some cases, may even qualify a victim of a TBI for Social Security benefits. If you or someone you love suffered a TBI recently, you may have more available benefits than you realize.

Qualifying for benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) requires a victim to meet certain income standards and other qualifications. Both programs only offer benefits to individuals whose income is less than the income caps set in place. These caps fluctuate from year to year, so be sure that you have the most up-to-date figures as you prepare your application.

The most common way to qualify for a benefits from either program is to demonstrate that your TBI symptoms match those of condition approved in the Social Security Blue Book. The Blue Book recognizes four distinct conditions related to TBI's

  • organic mental disorders
  • stroke or stroke-like complications
  • convulsive epilepsy
  • non-convulsive epilepsy

If you do not have one of these approved conditions, but meet other requirements, you may still qualify for benefits. If you can demonstrate to the Social Security Administration that your TBI does in fact keep you from employment. You will need to document your daily activities in great detail to receive approval for benefits.

If you face the daunting task of seeking SSI or SSDI benefits for a TBI, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney. Professional legal guidance can help you identify all the strengths of your case and build a strong application while protecting your rights as an individual.

Source: Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital, "Tips on Applying for Disability Benefits with a Traumatic Brain Injury," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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