Can I Work With Traumatic Brain Injury?

Social Security Disability for Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury can have a significant impact on your life. A serious brain injury can leave you unable to care for yourself and unable to work. You may be unable to communicate effectively, you may lose mobility, and you may not be able to lift, carry, or grasp things. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program under the direction of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

To be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits for a traumatic brain injury (tbi), you must meet the stringent guidelines of the SSA to be determined disabled and to qualify for monthly disability benefits. You must also have worked to earn sufficient credits and you must have paid in adequate taxes.

You can suffer traumatic brain injuries in a variety of ways, such as in a car accident, a work injury, or a fall. Your symptoms depend upon the severity of your injury and what part of your brain was injured. An injury may have left you unable to brush your hair, dress yourself, or feed yourself, let alone work to earn an adequate income. You may have to have help getting your daily activities done. You may have to be placed in a rehabilitation center for a while to try to improve your mobility and your communication skills or to undergo training so you can care for yourself.

If you suffered from a traumatic brain injury and can't work, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Impacting Your Ability to Work

A traumatic brain injury can impact your ability to work in numerous ways. If your communication skills are impacted, you won’t be able to answer phones or communicate with coworkers effectively. Mobility problems may make you reposition yourself frequently, so you can’t stay in one position for long.

Traumatic brain injury can impact you like seizure disorders, strokes, cerebral trauma, and various neurological problems. Your case may be evaluated using the same criteria as organic mental disorders or neurological conditions, which is dependent upon your functioning and how your injury has impacted your abilities.

Numbness and tingling in your limbs can keep you from grasping, lifting, or carrying items. If you suffer from problems with your memory, maintaining concentration, or staying focused that can impact any kind of work duties. You may suffer from dizziness, headaches, confusion, or visual problems such as blurred vision that may impact almost any kind of work duties. You may be unable to move all your limbs or suffer from partial paralysis. This can impact your ability to work in retail, manufacturing, healthcare, administrative or other positions.

Limitations for Specific Jobs

Your limitations from a traumatic brain injury can be extensive. If you suffer memory loss or have difficulty concentrating, you may find that being able to work in an office setting, maintain records, or work in customer service would be impossible.

If you experience dizziness, blurred vision or fatigue, you won’t be able to handle work as a mechanic, do repairs as a maintenance employee, or handle assembly projects or work in a setting that involves inspecting products before they are shipped and sold. Numbness and pain can limit your ability to lift, carry, squat, or bend so you can’t work in manufacturing, assembly, or as a paramedic or nurse.

Traumatic brain injury can also keep you from being able to grasp small items or stay focused, so you can’t maintain records or do bookkeeping, serve as a court reporter, work in the legal profession, or be a medical doctor. Your communication problems will keep you from working in telemarketing, customer service, as a receptionist, or as a sales representative.

Your memory and communication challenges can prevent you from being a teacher, minister, journalist, or an accountant. Because of a traumatic brain injury, your abilities can be significantly limited and you can find yourself in a situation where you are unable to perform any kind of work duties.

Applying for Benefits

If you are ready to apply for disability benefits because of your traumatic brain injury, there are several different approaches you may take to get the process underway. If you would prefer to start the process in-person, you can go the nearest SSA office and meet with a representative face-to-face. You can also start the process online or by calling toll-free 1-800-772-1213. You can enlist the assistance of an advocate or an attorney, which will improve your odds of being awarded benefits.