Is TBI a Disability?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often a temporary disability. For some suffering a moderate or severe TBI, the disability proves permanent.
Many people with a TBI can no longer work. They may apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments for financial assistance, but the process is complex. The overwhelming majority are initially rejected, but may eventually receive SSDI after submitting appeals.
Total disability does not always mean a person can never work again. Some people with a TBI may eventually recover. If the disability from the TBI is expected to last 12 months or more, you are potentially eligible for SSDI. If recovery occurs, the person can return to some form of employment.
A Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law can help you through the complicated process of applying for SSDI. We can also pursue a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf to hold the entities responsible for your TIB accountable.
Social security disability benefits and TBI
Until 2016, the Social Security Administration (SSA), which oversees SSDI, did not consider TBI a separate medical condition. Instead, it was included among neurocognitive disorders and other afflictions affecting the brain. Now, TBI is listed as a distinct impairment. The symptoms and severity are what qualifies an applicant for SSDI. Under this listing, TBIs are defined as resulting from:
- Fractured skull
- Closed head injury
- Brain penetration by an object
The TBI must prevent the applicant not only from the inability to perform their current job but any type of work. The SSA will determine whether someone may hold other employment based on their age, education, work history, and skillsets.
The SSA generally requires a person remains disabled for at least 12 months before they receive SSDI payments. TBIs are an exception, as disability payments may start within three months of the injury if the application is approved.
TBI disability requirements
To qualify as totally disabled due to TBI under SSDI, the applicant must meet certain limitations, as documented in their medical records. These include:
- Inability to control the movements of at least two limbs for a minimum of three months post-injury. The person cannot balance properly while standing or walking, rising from a seat, or using their arms.
- “Marked” physical problems in conjunction with cognitive issues, such as difficulty thinking or processing information; memory loss; trouble interacting with others, and controlling behavior or emotions.
If a person displays neurological issues after a TBI but does not meet the “marked” physical problems criteria, they may qualify for SSDI if their condition meets the standard for a neurocognitive disorder.
A traumatic brain injury attorney helps clients receive a complete medical evaluation and diagnosis so that a doctor can testify to the TBI’s degree of disability.
Contact a Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer
If you or someone you know experienced a TBI because of another person or party’s negligence, you need the services of the dedicated Los Angeles accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law. Call or text us 24/7 or submit our online form to arrange a free consultation.
There is no fee unless you receive compensation.