March 12th to the 18th is Brain Awareness Week.

Submitted by Shane on

Brain Awareness Week is an international campaign aimed at increasing public awareness of research related to the brain and central nervous system. It focuses the attention of participants on various fields of neuroscience.

The general purposes and directives of Brain Awareness Week are:

  • Inspiring the upcoming generation of scientists, particularly those interested in neurological pursuits.
  • Contributing to the general public’s knowledge and understanding of our basic brain functions.
  • Demonstrating the connection between supporting neurological research and benefiting public health.
  • Improving public health, in particular relating to neurological disorders.
  • Expanding awareness of neurological disorders.

Social Security Disability and the Brain

There are a number of neurological disorders which qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Speaking in the most general sense, any disability (including neurological/ brain-related disabilities) which causes a person to be unable to perform any kind of full time, gainful employment can potentially qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits.

Both adults and children may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits based on neurological disorders. Benefits may be granted whether the disorder is genetic or the result of an injury.

Common brain/neurological conditions which often qualify for Social Security Disability benefits include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Brain tumors
  • Disorganization of motor function caused by a neurological disorder
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Parkinson’s Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic degenerative brain syndrome
  • Cerebral trauma
  • Brain disorders which significantly hinder communicative abilities

As with other disabilities, the Social Security Administration looks at brain and neurological disorders in terms of how they affect your ability to perform meaningful work. If you or someone you represent has a brain or neurological disorder, the main considerations the Social Security Administration will consider when determining whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits include:

  • Whether your disability hinders you from doing all types of work which you have previously performed. The SSA will especially look at the past ten years to determine if there is any job you have done which you could still perform despite your disability.
  • Whether your disability would hinder you from being trained for other available employment. The SSA will consider your level of education in addition to the types of jobs you have performed previously in determining which types of employment you might reasonably be trained for.

If you believe yourself or someone you represent to be completely disabled due to a brain injury or other neurological disorder, it is critically important that you continue to receive and follow prescribed medical treatment. You should also consider contacting a Social Security Disability lawyer. A Social Security disability attorney can offer you legal advice regarding whether you are likely to qualify for disability benefits.

Helping Those with Brain Injuries or Neurological Disorders

If you know someone with a brain injury or neurological disorder who is not receiving Social Security disability benefits, talk to them about it. If their injury or disorder is severe enough to prohibit them from working, they may well qualify for benefits. Encourage them to speak with a Social Security disability lawyer to explore the possibility of claiming Social Security Disability benefits.

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