When a person has a disability, a disabling condition, or is the victim of an accident that renders her disabled, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may provide disability benefits in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For instance, those who suffer a brain injury might recover Social Security disability for TBI, which stands for traumatic brain injury.
The rate of TBI in 2010 was 715.7 per 100,000 population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you or a loved one suffered from a TBI, here’s what you need to know about obtaining Social Security disability benefits.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability for TBI
In order to be awarded disability benefits under Social Security, a person must have a condition that’s listed on the “Blue Book,” or Listing of Impairments provided by the SSA, or have a condition that causes marked and severe impairment. The condition must have lasted or is expected to last for a minimum of 12 months.
According to the Listing of Impairments, the SSA will evaluate “cerebral trauma,” or brain trauma, using the provisions set forth by other listings, which are outlined below. If the applicant meets the criteria in one of the listings, she may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
- Section 11.02: Convulsive epilepsy. This requires presenting a description of seizure pattern with seizures occurring more than once a month despite three months of prescribed treatment.
- Section 11.03 Nonconvulsive epilepsy. This also requires a description of seizure pattern with seizures that occur more than once a week despite three months of prescribed treatment.
- Section 11.04 Central nervous system vascular accident. This requires presence of sensory or motor aphasia that impairs speech or communication, or significant impairment of motor function in two extremities. Either must be present more than three months after the accident.
- Section 12.02 Organic mental disorders. These include various “[p]sychological or behavioral abnormalities associated with a dysfunction of the brain.” There are various criteria that you may meet under this section.
If an injury results in any of the above, then a person may qualify for Social Security disability for TBI.
Applying for Social Security Disability for TBI
If a traumatic brain injury has left you disabled and unable to perform basic tasks, then you may qualify for disability benefits. However, a qualifying condition alone is not enough to ensure that your application for disability benefits will be approved. In addition to having a qualifying disability, you must prove that you have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for SSDI. Or you must prove that you are of limited income and resources, which would thereby qualify you for SSI.
During the application processed for both SSI and SSDI, you will have to provide documents detailing your medical eligibility, documents about your work history, documents regarding your finances and resources, proof of citizenship, and more. The process is very detailed, and if the application is not filled out in full, you run the risk of your application being denied.
Get Help from an Attorney to Recover Disability Benefits
When filing for Social Security disability for TBI, having an attorney by your side who knows the ins and outs of Social Security law can be key in getting your claim approved. At Rob Levine & Associates, our attorneys know how important you claim is, and will work hard to get you the benefits you need for your traumatic brain injury.
To get started, call Rob Levine & Associates today at 866-LAW-SSDI (529-7734) and set up your free disability case consultation.