The Social Security Administration considers your ability to engage in any kind of work when it determines whether you are disabled under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines and regulations. A few conditions are so severe that you are presumed to be disabled if you meet certain guidelines, either under the “compassionate allowance”, which are extremely severe conditions, or if you meet certain “listings”. Most of the listings are very complex and require proof of several objectively verifiable conditions or findings. Both the compassionate allowances and the listings can be found on the Social Security web site.
Proving a brain injury to be so severe that it satisfies a listing is very difficult. The degree of severity must be great, and should be demonstrated by sensitive findings such as CT or MRI and/or neuropsychological testing over several months. The listing states as to traumatic brain injuries (TBI):
- TBI may result in neurological and mental impairments with a wide variety of posttraumatic symptoms and signs. The rate and extent of recovery can be highly variable and the long-term outcome may be difficult to predict in the first few months post-injury. Generally, the neurological impairment (s) will stabilize more rapidly than any mental impairment (s). Sometimes a mental impairment may appear to improve immediately following TBI and then worsen, or, conversely, it may appear much worse initially but improve after a few months. Therefore, the mental findings immediately following TBI may not reflect the actual severity of your mental impairment (s). The actual severity of a mental impairment may not become apparent until 6 months post-injury.
- In some cases, evidence of a profound neurological impairment is sufficient to permit a finding of disability within 3 months post-injury. If a finding of disability within 3 months post-injury is not possible based on any neurological impairment (s), we will defer adjudication of the claim until we obtain evidence of your neurological or mental impairments at least 3 months post-injury. If a finding of disability still is not possible at that time, we will again defer adjudication of the claim until we obtain evidence at least 6 months post-injury. At that time, we will fully evaluate any neurological and mental impairments and adjudicate the claim.
Once the TBI has been established the severity will be evaluated under the listing for epilepsy or organic mental disorders.
If you meet the definitions in the listing as to how disabling the condition is you may entitled to Social Security disability benefits. You may also be entitled to benefits if your condition medically equals a listing, or if it otherwise prevents you from being able to engage in substantial gainful activity.
We will be happy to discuss your condition and to evaluate your claim. Please click here to fill out our interactive contact form and we will get back to you promptly to discuss your Social Security disability claim, give you a free evaluation of your case, and let you know what we can do for you. You can also call us at (303) 996-0700.
Nothing contained on this web site should be construed to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney client relationship. The relationship is only created by written agreement signed by the client and the law firm. Please contact us for a conference to further discuss your claim.