Every year, approximately 1.7 million people experience a traumatic brain injury in the United States. Brain injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the type and extent of a patient’s brain injury. Severe brain injuries can cause disability or even death. If you’ve been diagnosed with a brain injury in Los Angeles and cannot work, you may be entitled to monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
At Disability Advocates Group, we understand how challenging it can be to become unable to engage in your normal day-to-day activities due to a brain injury. Disability benefits are an important source of income for Los Angeles residents who cannot work because of an illness or medical condition, such as a brain injury. We can handle every aspect of your SSDI application so that you can focus on your treatment. Additionally, we can help you appeal your case if your application has been denied. Contact Disability Advocates Group to schedule a free consultation.
Causes Brain Injuries
A blow, bump, or jolt to the head can damage a person’s brain tissue and disrupt brain function. Preventable accidents, including car accidents, cause many brain injuries. Assault and battery can also cause brain injuries. Birth trauma, tumors, and other medical conditions can also result in brain injuries. Whatever the cause of you or your loved one’s brain injury, you may be entitled to monthly SSDI benefits. Discussing your case with a Los Angeles SSDI attorney can help you understand your legal options and whether you’re entitled to benefits.
Brain Injury Symptoms Can Make it Impossible to Work
Every brain injury is unique, and it can be challenging to determine the long-term impact on the patient. Some of these symptoms may subside weeks or months after the brain injury. Patience may experience permanent symptoms. Patients may experience one or more symptoms at different times, making it difficult to treat. Symptoms can include the following:
- Memory loss
- Migraine headache
- Sensory challenges
- Speech difficulties
- Extreme fatigue
- Headaches and migraines
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood changes
The Correlation Between Brain Injuries and Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Certain traumatic brain injuries may be linked to a person developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or another degenerative brain disease. Studies have shown that adults with a history of traumatic brain injuries are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. The more severe the brain injury, the greater the risk of developing degenerative brain diseases. Symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s make it even more challenging for patients to sustain long-term employment.
Qualifying for SSDI Benefits with a Brain Injury
Not every brain injury will qualify an individual for SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration has specific requirements an applicant needs to meet to be eligible for benefits. To meet the qualification criteria, an applicant must have worked and accumulated work credits. In your application, you must include details indicating your interest in limiting or prohibiting your ability to work.
In other words, the claims adjuster reviewing your application will need to see medical evidence that your residual functioning capacity is low enough to prevent you from working. Not being able to work in your current profession isn’t enough to qualify for benefits. You’ll need to show that your symptoms prevent you from remaining gainfully employed at all.
Brain Injury Listings in the “Blue Book”
Social Security examiners consider a manual called the “Blue Book” when determining whether an applicant is eligible for benefits. The examiner will check whether your reported symptoms match the brain injury listings in the Blue Book. Suppose your symptoms meet the criteria for brain injuries in the Blue Book. In that case, you may be automatically approved for disability compensation without moving further in the application process. The following medical conditions are listed in the Blue Book and are associated with traumatic brain injuries:
- Non-convulsive epilepsy
- Stroke or stroke-like complications
- Organic mental disorders
What If My Brain Injury Doesn’t Meet Blue Book Guidelines?
There is a wide range of brain injuries, and your specific condition may not match one of the conditions listed in the Blue Book. You can still obtain benefits if your brain injury doesn’t align with one of these listings. However, the Social Security examiner will need to consider your application in its totality. Working with an attorney is an important way to ensure your application includes all of the documentation necessary for an examiner to determine that you are eligible. The examiner will evaluate your residual functional capacity to decide whether you can perform work-related tasks such as standing, sitting, pushing, understanding, and remembering.
The examiner will also consider the different types of work you’ve done in the last 15 years. After determining whether your mental and physical state allows you to perform job duties associated with your prior work, the examiner decides your eligibility. Your application will be denied if they determine that you can work in your career field. If they determine you can’t work in your prior career field, they will consider whether you have transferable skills that you can use in another line of work to find gainful employment. The majority of initial applications for SSDI benefits are denied, so be reassured if your application has been denied. It’s essential that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible because you have a limited amount of time to appeal your case.
Contact Disability Advocates Group to Learn More About Brain Injury Benefits
Cognitive impairment caused by brain injuries can be among the most long-lasting and debilitating brain injury symptoms. Working may be impossible due to brain injury symptoms. Speaking to a knowledgeable Los Angeles disability attorney can help you understand your options. At Disability Advocates Group, we will carefully evaluate the strength of your potential SSDI claim for benefits. Our team will handle every aspect of your case, advocating for you to obtain compensation for your brain injury. Contact Disability Advocates Group to schedule your initial case evaluation as soon as possible.