For New Jersey residents who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the damage can go beyond the brain and impact many different areas of the body, hindering their ability to work. With the variety of problems that accompany a brain injury along with the medical expenses, the inability to work should be accounted for by applying for Social Security disability benefits for injury. With TBI, knowing how the Social Security Administration evaluates it and what criteria must be met to be granted benefits is integral to a case.

A TBI occurs when there is brain damage either from penetration by an object going into the skull and contacting brain tissue, an external impact with closed head injury, or from a skull fracture. To make its decision, the SSA will need to receive evidence from a minimum of three months after the incident to determine if there is disorganization of motor function or to gauge how much the injury has affected mental and physical functioning. For some, the determination can be made within three months. Should that not be the case, then it will be deferred until evidence is available a minimum of three months after. The deferment can be extended to at least six months until it is possible for the SSA to decide.

There are categories A and B when the SSA makes its decision. The issues the person suffers from after TBI must meet one of the two categories. For A, there must be disorganization of motor function in two extremities and it must result in extreme limitation with the person having problems standing after being seated, balancing when standing or walking, or using upper extremities. This must last for three months after the TBI. For B, it must be difficult for the person to understand, remember or apply information; interact with other people; concentrate, persist or maintain pace; or adapt or manage him or herself. This must last for a minimum of three months post-TBI.

Brain injuries can result in a drastically changed life and a long-term struggle. Working can be difficult if not outright impossible. The treatments can be grueling and frustrating. For those who have suffered TBI, Social Security benefits for brain injury can help them with a variety of factors that are critical to their recovery and making ends meet. The key is meeting the benefits’ requirements.