The human brain remains one of the most complex and mysterious organs of the body. Even doctors still can’t always predict how it will react. When someone suffers a head injury, doctors may be able to make educated guesses regarding the healing and recovery process, but there are no guarantees.
Depending on the part of the brain that’s injured, you experience different issues. If the effects of your injury will be with you for the rest of your life, you may be able to work around them and continue working and enjoying the life you lived prior to the accident that led to your injury. However, the effects may make it impossible to work and enjoy your life as you did previously. If so, you more than likely need some sort of financial help to make ends meet.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits
Before you can even apply for benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance, you must meet the definition of disabled. The basic criteria include the following:
- The effects of your injury have lasted, or will last, at least a year.
- Your injury prevents you from working at your previous job.
- Your injury prevents you from learning a new profession.
If you believe you meet these criteria, you could qualify for SSDI. The next step is to peruse the SSA’s Blue Book to determine into what category your injury falls.
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits
It may be a good idea to gather all of your medical, employment and financial information prior to actually filling out the application. Not only could this help you answer the questions on the forms, but it could also save you time. The SSA will want to understand the struggles you face with your disability on a daily basis.
The more detailed information you provide, the better off you will be. Don’t be alarmed if you receive a denial. A large percentage of initial applications come back denied. The SSA is cautious concerning applications due to potential fraud. You may file an appeal of your denial.
Appealing a denial for Social Security Disability benefits
You need to know that you must file your appeal with the SSA within 60 days of receiving a denial. An appeal generally involves the following steps:
- Submit a written request to appeal the denial within the allotted time.
- Attend a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
If the SSA denies your request for benefits, you may request that the Appeals Council review your application. A denial at this level will send your claim to federal court.
Obtaining assistance when applying for Social Security Disability benefits
It’s quite easy to miss something during the initial application process. Working with an experienced attorney could increase your chances of being in the small percentage of people who receive approval for benefits the first time. If your initial claim is denied, having an attorney to assist you through the appeals process could reduce the associated stress.