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When does a traumatic brain injury constitute a disability?

Our previous post examined a new treatment that may help those suffering from traumatic brain injuries. Despite the advancements in the medical arena, many of those in Philadelphia who suffer a traumatic brain injury may find themselves not only unable to work, but also unable to perform many of the daily tasks they used to do with ease. It can be incredibly frustrating, not just on an emotional level, but on a financial level as well. After all, a person still needs to afford the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, not to mention the costs of medical care and drugs that they incur due to their disability.

For some sufferers of traumatic brain injuries, financial relief is available the form of Social Security disability benefits. These benefits can help a person get by financially during a difficult time. When it comes to determining whether a person's traumatic brain injury constitutes a disability for the purposes of obtaining Social Security disability benefits, one of two requirements must be met.

One requirement is that the person's motor functions in at least two extremities be disorganized to an extent which severely limits the person's ability to stand up after sitting down, maintain a sense of balance while upright or walking, or use his or her upper extremities. These limitations must last for at least three consecutive months following the traumatic brain injury.

Alternatively, the person's physical functioning and mental functioning must be markedly limited for at least three consecutive months following the traumatic brain injury. Some examples of mental functioning include the ability to understand, remember and then apply information, the ability to have social interactions, the ability to concentrate or the ability to manage oneself and adapt to changes.

As you can see, there are specific requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits based on a brain injury. Moreover, proving a disability is only one requirement that must be met; there are other requirements that must be fulfilled before a person can be awarded disability benefits. To learn more about these requirements, it may help to speak to an attorney.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee