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How SSA Evaluates Traumatic Brain Injury for Disability Benefits

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a TBI, is usually caused by trauma to the head, such as getting hit in the head by an object or the impact of the head on a hard surface. Sometimes the term “head injury” is used to describe a TBI, but head injury can mean any injury to the head. With a TBI, the damage is to the actual brain—which can lead to serious symptoms, including loss of motor skills and even changes in personality.

traumatic brain injury

It can sometimes be difficult to determine if a TBI occurred. While some symptoms occur right away, in other cases, symptoms may not fully present themselves for months.

Can You Get Disability Benefits for a TBI?

You can definitely get disability benefits for a TBI. A TBI and the symptoms it produces can be partially or fully debilitating, making it hard or impossible to lead a normal life. If the symptoms of your TBI make it to where you cannot work in the same capacity you once did, there is a strong possibility that you could apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) and eventually qualify for benefits.

How Does the SSA Evaluate TBI for Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a specific listing for TBI. As long as you meet the criteria for listing 11.8, traumatic brain injury, you can pass the SSA evaluation and collect Social Security Disability for your injuries.

The listing for TBI at the SSA states that you need to either have severe limitations in two or more extremities for three months or more, or you need to have a significant limitation in your mental faculties for three consecutive months. If you suffer from one or both of these conditions, you should be able to make it through the SSA evaluation successfully.

The main things that the SSA will look for include impairment in your ability to:

  • See, hear or speak
  • Handle changes in a regular work setting
  • Understand instructions and carry out those instructions
  • Walking
  • Sitting
  • Pushing/pulling
  • Carrying
  • Standing
  • Handling

What Should You Do if Your Application Is Denied?

The SSA is notorious for denying applications for benefits. A large portion of first-time applicants are turned down for benefits, which can be quite discouraging. Fortunately, you do not have to accept the denial. You can appeal the decision, and our SSD legal team can help you with the process.

If you have been turned down for SSD benefits related to a TBI, please contact us today to speak with an attorney. Let us help you get the benefits you deserve.

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