As one of the most serious type of injuries that can impair work performance, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents a severe injury to the brain. It is an internal injury that rarely manifests any easy to see signs. TBI injuries can result from a blow, a bump, or a hard jolt to the head. Symptoms, such as loss of memory and acute migraine headaches often follow the incident that triggered a TBI.
If you have suffered from a TBI, you understand the incredible difficulty of getting back to work. The injury often requires extensive rehabilitation, and even that does not ensure a return to full health. Proactive management of a TBI means applying for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Using an RFC to Receive Disability Benefits
The SSA is the federal agency that handles disability applications. To determine whether you qualify for disability benefits, the SSA suggests reading the information in its Blue Book that discusses TBI symptoms. Although a TBI might appear to be a slam dunk for disability benefits, some cases might warrant using a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment when applying for benefits with TBI.
SSA guidelines state that an RFC represents a tool to determine the functional capacity of an applicant who files for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The RFC is considered additional information that helps an SSA examiner make a decision concerning benefits. You cannot expect to receive disability benefits if you do not submit an accurately filled out RFC assessment form.
Submitting an RFC for TBI
Suffering from a TBI can have a long lasting negative impact on a career. It is an especially devastating injury for a professional who works in a trade, such as roofing, plumbing, and landscaping. Just a relatively soft noise can trigger a terrible ringing sensation that refuses to go away. A representative from Disability Determination Services (DDS) conducts a comprehensive examination to determine what, if any symptoms adversely impact your job performance.
Medical Records are Essential
As a common outcome of a TBI, a concussion is not easily diagnosed. However, a healthcare professional who specializes in performing brain scans can give you the physical evidence you need to have an RFC assessment application approved. Two of the most frequently used brain imaging techniques are a CT and an MRI. Your doctor will put you through a large number of tests, most of which analyze your cognitive capability.
Many TBI cases happen because of a serious accident, such as a vehicle crash or a bicycle collision. The police report detailing the specifics of an accident can help your case with the SSA. You should also include treatment and rehabilitation documents that monitor your progress on returning to full health. Not only can you receive SSDI benefits for missed work, the SSA grants compensation in some cases that account for future lost earnings.
Evaluate the Strength of Your RFC Application
Going through the SSA disability benefits process can produce considerable stress and anxiety. After all, your livelihood is on the line. The financial stakes are too great for you to guess whether the SSA will approve your RFC application. If you suffer from a TBI and the injury has cost you time at work, complete a free evaluation to give you an idea about the strength of your RFC application. Since the process can take several months, you should act with a sense of urgency when it comes to receiving a free case evaluation.