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How SSD evaluates traumatic brain injuries

Some people suffer what the medical community calls a traumatic brain injury. They might take a blow to the head from a fall, possibly by slipping and falling, or from an accident at work, or from a car accident. Even if they come out of the accident alive, a TBI may leave them with permanent health issues and possibly a significant disability. 

A TBI may go as far as to impair people’s ability to work. If a TBI has made it harder to earn an income, they may have a way to help themselves and their family by applying for Social Security Disability benefits. 

The effects of TBI 

Brainline explains how a traumatic brain injury may permanently impact someone’s life. Before the injury, a worker might have performed the job with no problems. However, following the injury, abilities and skills have diminished. A worker may have trouble concentrating or remembering facts, information or experiences. TBIs can also damage motor skills. The ability to run and walk or to lift arms and legs may diminish or go away completely. 

Social Security and TBI 

Like other injuries, Social Security determines whether someone may receive disability by the impact a TBI has on the life of a person. If someone were to suffer a TBI and for the following three months could barely or not at all sit up from a seated position, not use arms and hands, or lack balance while standing or walking, Social Security would consider him or her eligible for disability benefits. 

Social Security will also evaluate how the TBI affects someone’s mental processes. This includes the ability to retain, comprehend or apply information the person has learned. Impairments in the ability to interact with others, to concentrate or maintain pace, or to self-manage are also factors Social Security will consider. These impairments must last for at least three months following the injury.