There are many kinds of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), ranging from mild to severe. In some cases, TBIs are fatal. Severe TBIs can also cause major symptoms, ranging from a change in personality to issues with motor function, memory and even basic self-care. Mild or moderate TBIs can also result in a host of serious symptoms, even if their name implies they are of less concern.
Due to the nature of TBIs and the fact that symptoms may persist for the rest of the life of the injured party, they are one of a host of conditions that may qualify workers for Social Security Disability Income. Regardless of the cause of the brain injury, if it impacts the ability of the injured party to work, care for him- or herself or perform normal daily functions, it may cause issues that result in qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.
Mild TBIs are still debilitating for workers
Even mild TBIs could leave a worker unable to continue his or her career. Less severe TBIs are much more common than severe TBIs. In fact, mild TBIs represent the vast majority of TBI cases, but don't let that fool you into thinking they aren't life-changing in many cases. Just because they are less severe than the worst possible cases doesn't mean that mild TBIs shouldn't be taken seriously.
Symptoms commonly associated with mild TBIs include a loss of consciousness at the time of the injury, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, issues with sleep, problems with balance, blurred vision, ringing ears, sensitivity to light or sound, issues with memory or concentration, mood changes or erratic mood swings and even loss of coordination. It's easy to see how these symptoms could impact someone's ability to remain in the same career after a TBI.
Just because it's invisible doesn't mean it's not disabling
There's a common misconception among Americans that only those who have mobility or motor function issues or obvious, visible disabilities are unable to work. In reality, there are many conditions, including TBIs, that impact someone's ability to work and quality of life without having any obvious external signs or symptoms. Invisible disabilities can be just as debilitating and can leave victims unable to work or support their families.
Thankfully, traumatic brain injuries can present other evidence for those who need to file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits. The brain is a complex organ, and each traumatic brain injury is as unique as the person who sustains it.
Doctors can perform a wide range of tests to document the symptoms and extend of a TBI, from brain scans to show actual damaged areas to physical and mental performance tests. Those who have suffered a TBI and who can no longer work as a result should explore whether Social Security Disability benefits will help.