how to explain a brain injury disability

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The severity of injuries can vary from mild to severe depending on how serious the causing incident was. A person who has a medically determinable severe impairment of traumatic brain injury and is unable to understand, remember or carry out simple instructions would be found disabled based on his/her mental residual function capacity. Combinations are likely to be unique to brain injury. Memory, attention, organization, planning and perception are functions disrupted by TBI. A neurologist is first called to make an initial evaluation, diagnose the injury and consult on immediate medical care the patient requires. Get started by taking our free SSDI Assessment to determine your likelihood of qualifying. Allsup is the nation’s premier disability representation company®. If brain injury impairs any of these skills then it can affect the ability to communicate successfully. To appreciate the extent of a precipitating injury, it is helpful to understand two commonly used medical scales found in every medical chart involving TBI. empower is a personalized online tool that guides you through the application process and can help you use these benefits to return to work, if and when you medically recover. Respiratory or pulmonary therapists help the patient breathe and maintain a ventilator employed to insure clear airways. Earning more than $1,170 a month as an employee is enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits. The goal is to help survivors identify techniques to improve their ability to remember ideas. For example, if a person with a traumatic brain injury would warrant a finding of disabled at any age. Testing helps determine the survivors ability to learn, to make judgments and to evaluate productivity, punctuality, reaction time, distractibility and tolerance for frustration. May engage in social conversation but with inappropriate verbalization. Dealing with abstract concepts as literal facts is additionally confusing. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. By far the most challenging plaintiff is a child who is attractive and who will walk into the courtroom. Pre-existing conditions may be amplified following TBI. Still, educating employers is the chief obstacle for the family and representatives of TBI survivors. They are the "go for the gusto," high speed, consumers of alcohol who are going to live forever and who dominate ERs Friday night through Sunday morning and the Monday morning arraignment calendars. The neuropsychologist specializes in evaluating brain function and performs sophisticated tests of brain function necessary to identify specific injuries and to select appropriate rehabilitation efforts. Throughout this discussion the TBI survivor has been presumed to be an adult. Physical therapists focus on restoring motor function, strengthening muscles, improving coordination, balance, endurance and the movement of joints. Often the patient does not know that a seizure has taken place. The guidelines for evaluating impairments caused by cerebral trauma are contained in 11.18, which states that cerebral trauma is to be evaluated under 11.02, 11.03, 11.04, and 12.02, as applicable. The slightest distraction causes a complete loss of concentration and results in confusion. Review age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the person can perform. Approximately three-quarters are diagnosed as having suffered a mild to moderate injury - injuries that can be subtle, persistent, and potentially long term. Now, TBI has its own listing in Social Security's listing of impairments (called the "blue book"). In many cases the fatigue is profound and staying alert and awake for these patients is difficult. For example: Ask if the traumatic brain injury disability meets or equals a medical listing. Acquired Brain Injuries are damage that happens to the brain after birth. Head Injury What is a head injury? Determine if an individual is working (engaging in substantial gainful activity) according to the SSA definition. The range and severity of disabilities in one patient will vary dramatically. Brain Injury: Proving a Lifetime Disability. Significant confusion following a head injury is so common that the primary medical inquiry is to establish if the patient is oriented. Inconsistent orientation to time and place, retention span/recent memory impaired, begins to recall past, consistently follows simple directions, goal-directed behavior with assistance. Short-term memory and recalling what happened yesterday is more common than the loss of recall for older information. The chief task for the social worker is to prepare a detailed background study and normally includes the patient s pre-injury personality, lifestyle, emotional and financial resources, educational history, work and leisure interests, special relationship and previous problems. You or they can call us at (800) 279-4357 to get started. It upsets life on multiple levels: physical, psychological, social, and even spiritual. Google Chrome, This damage may also be called a traumatic brain injury. This should not be confused with retrograde amnesia, which is the inability to recall events before injury. From a public health perspective, alcohol abuse training, roll bars, air bags, and helmet protection for motorcyclists, bicyclists, skateboarders, and skiers are top priorities because the number of TBI survivors is not expected to significantly diminish over the next ten years. There is widespread misunderstanding concerning traumatic brain injury even in otherwise knowledgeable medical circles. The attractive child with a severe impairment will generate compassion and understanding from his/her environment, but once the adolescent years begin the tasks of dealing with sexual drives, peers, alcohol and drugs in the TBI survivor are grossly complicated. A brain injury that happens later in life usually has different symptoms than CVI, which is caused by an injury early in life. Since the medical community generally speaking is not well trained in neurobehavior, physicians often fail to diagnose the short-term and potentially chronic aspects of closed head injuries in the regular office visit. To determine the level of vocational functioning the counsellor also evaluates the patients ability to follow instructions and social skills. Fatigue is extremely common in the early stages following injury. Neurological and cognitive disability includes acquired disability such as multiple sclerosis or traumatic brain injury. The inability to meet any of the basic mental demands of work would entitle a claimant to disability benefits. We recommend using An estimated 13.5 million individuals live with a disability due to traumatic brain injury in the U.S. alone. Total reversals of sleep patterns, the need for multiple naps and rest periods and loss of bowel and bladder control are reported. Survivors of TBI quickly change subjects and have difficulty following through an idea or a sequence to completion. We pay attention and focus on a specific task and block out distractions both internal and external. In generalized seizures, or major motor seizures, the entire body stiffens. Firefox, or Impaired judgment occurs when abstract thinking is impaired. In some cases, evidence of a profound neurological impairment is sufficient to permit a finding of disability within 3 months post-injury. Gross attention to environment, highly distractible, requires continual redirection, difficulty learning new tasks, agitated by too much stimulation. Therapeutic recreational specialists evaluate interests and hobbies and integrate them into therapy goals that are readily enjoyed by the survivor. Without attention and concentration, learning cannot occur. Medically these injuries are distinct from hypoxic injuries caused by reduced oxygen. These are most commonly caused by car accidents, falls and injuries from guns. Survivors experience spasticity or abnormal tone and muscle stiffness. Performs daily routine in highly familiar environment in a non- confused but automatic robot-like manner. Unfortunately, reassurance should always follow a realistic assessment and often there is not enough time, or insufficient skill, to conduct a proper medical evaluation. Sleep disorders are another area of inquiry. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Anecdotes do not replace scientific evidence, bur recently a well regarded neurologist, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University and a respected scientist and author, concluded that a moderate head injury in a bicycle/truck collision, in which the plaintiff's bicycle helmet was fractured, was not responsible for chronic fatigue six months post-injury. If you or a loved one has vision problems because of a brain injury, ask the doctor about vision rehabilitation and other support services. This article was edited and reviewed by FindLaw Attorney Writers Unfortunately, the application process is burdensome and time consuming. To maximize damages for this plaintiff requires a grounding in the medicine of head injury and an understanding the full range of traumatic brain injury is a sine qua non for plaintiffs who have suffered physical injury and in evaluating plaintiffs insulted by contaminated drugs, toxic exposures, and silicone gel breast implant reactions. TBI can be classified based on severity (ranging from mild traumatic brain injury [mTBI/concussion] to severe traumatic brain injury), mechanism (closed or penetrating head injury), or other features (e.g., occurring in a specific location or over a widespread area). Traumatic brain injury Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not the same as head injury, since a person can sustain damage to the face, scalp and skull without necessarily injuring their brain. Survivors who have difficulty understanding are diagnosed with receptive aphasia. Most survivors will demonstrate characteristics from several levels at once. An ABI can be caused by: It is important for the patient s legal representatives to have a strong and responsible working relationship with the social worker. The case manager is routinely in charge of reporting to the insurance carrier funding the recovery program. A second category of seizures are known as focal motor or partial seizures which present as jerking movements or twitching. People with impaired memory may remember and retain old skills, but learning new ones require repeated instructions and extended practice. Read how one person’s journey to approval was made easier with True Help. If the SSA finds that a person can do his past work, benefits are denied. Ask if the traumatic brain injury disability meets or equals a medical listing. Expressive aphasia is the diagnosis for those having difficulty remembering words, naming objects or expressing ideas. 'Cognitive communication difficulties' is the term most often used for the resulting problems. As a trial lawyer you must be alert to the full range of TBI symptoms. Traumatic Brain Injury and Social Security Disability; How the Blue Book Can Help You with Your Traumatic Brain Injury SSD Claim Many times work adjustment training, driver s training, job seeking and interviewing skills may be insufficient and a job coach is needed to facilitate a smooth transition. Additional Resources. Level V confused/non-agitated. In this setting, reassurance goes a long way to promote healing and well-being. Head injuries are one of the most common causes of disability and death in adults. Survivors suffering moderate to severe injuries will have hospital and rehabilitation care from a wide range of professionals. The email address cannot be subscribed. The causes of an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) can include falls, stroke, infections, accidents, lack of oxygen and cancer. Respiratory obstructions and compromised lung function that cause a total cessation of oxygenation result in anoxic injuries. Some functions may be severely disabled and other skills intact. Those who suffer skull fractures, loss of consciousness and coma and typically are diagnosed as moderate to severe injuries, with obvious physical impairments. Level II: generalize reflex response to pain. Cognitive therapists teach survivors how to learn. For approximately 85 percent of people with TBI, those problems eventually resolve, but the remaining 15 … Seizures can occur immediately or may be delayed until months or even years after the initial trauma. SSDI & Traumatic Brain Injury: A Personal Story. Approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI-related disability. If the person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step. If your friend hires Allsup and we process an SSDI application for them, you’ll receive $100. Applying a task to a similar but different situation cannot be accomplished. The earlier you make the referral the better because that initial evaluation may be the first objective evaluation for the purpose of establishing a baseline for later comparison. Confabulation is not coping with reality, but it is more closely associated with denial and is a defense mechanism. Many students who sustain brain injuries have resulting specific learning disabilities (SLDs). Estimated annual direct and indirect TBI costs are $76.5 billion. Families members accompanying the plaintiff are excellent resources who can describe changes in personality, skills and the subtle symptoms and complaints many times dismissed as the complaints of a hypochondriac. For instance inappropriate behaviour and short term memory loss could make it difficult to remember what happened, or what strategies to put in place. Alert, very active, aggressive or bizarre behaviors, performs motor activities but behavior is non-purposeful, extremely short attention span. Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a term referring to any serious head injury that causes damage to the brain. Therefore, the mental findings immediately following TBI may not reflect the actual severity of your mental impairment (s). Social workers provide the important connection between the health care staff, rehabilitation professionals, family, school, work and often the insurance carrier funding the rehabilitation. TBI may result in neurological and mental impairments with a wide variety of posttraumatic symptoms and signs. Many students with brain injuries frequently experience difficulty conveying thoughts in writing or speech, as well. Outside of the regional head injury treatment centers, neurologists on a day-to-day basis do not treat trauma victims. Not knowing the day, week, year, where they are or what happened results in the patient asking searching questions. Regular encouragement and visual cues are helpful in prompting initiation. Patients complain of trouble organizing thoughts, inability to express themselves, difficulty selecting and recalling words, short-temper, learning new information and retaining it, getting lost, confusion and agitation. Traumatic brain injury is listed under neurological disorders. Tips on Applying for Disability Benefits with a Traumatic Brain Injury. A substantial loss of ability to meet any one of these basic work-related activities would severely limit the potential occupational base for all age groups and justify a finding of disabled.

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