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Is it possible to receive SSDI for a brain injury?

Sustaining a head injury can be serious. Damage to the brain can result in persistent if not permanent disabilities that affect your quality of life. Your injury may also make it impossible to sustain a steady, well-paying job. If you experience a traumatic brain injury that impairs your ability to earn a living, applying for Social Security Disability may be an option.

Social Security offers disability benefits for a number of injuries, and traumatic brain injuries are no exception. The Social Security website explains how the Social Security Administration evaluates traumatic brain injuries to determine eligibility for SSDI.

Physical limitations

To meet Social Security’s standards for disability, your traumatic brain injury must prevent you from moving no less than two of your extremities. An example is if your TBI keeps you from manipulating both of your arms or your legs. You must have this impairment for at least three consecutive months after your injury. These limitations must make it very hard for you to use your arms, balance yourself while walking, or standing or rising to stand.

Cognitive and behavioral limitations

As an alternative, Social Security may grant you disability if your TBI has caused you serious limitations in addition to physical problems. Your injury may have impaired your ability to interact with other people. You might have trouble controlling your emotions or behavior. Concentration, memory problems or issues with comprehension may also result. All of these limitations may interfere with your ability to hold down a job.

Not all brain injuries qualify for disability, so prepare as much evidence as you can if you decide to pursue SSDI. Medical records, results from tests and written documents from friends and family may be of assistance. You might also pursue disability for conditions related to your TBI like PTSD or anxiety. Offering as much information as possible on your condition may improve your chances of approval.