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Brain injury can keep you out of work for months, if not more

Serious brain injuries happen nearly every day in Missouri. The Brain Injury Association of Missouri reports that residents suffer about 13,000 traumatic brain injuries each year that are so serious that they must be admitted to the hospital.

For many of these people, their TBI causes long-lasting effects, such as physical disability, that takes away their ability to work, at least temporarily. They may need to turn to Social Security disability while they recover.

For example, a St. Louis photographer was unable to work for more than a year after he hit his head in a bicycle accident. Externally, the accident did not appear to be serious, but doctors discovered that his brain was sinking into his spinal column. They had to remove a part of his skull to save him.

The man lost function in one arm, had spots in his vision and suffered psychological issues as well. He spent three months in the hospital and several more months at a rehabilitation center.

After months of hard work, the man was able to move home. But it was several more months before he was able to start taking portraits again.

An article about this man’s story does not mention if he applied for or received SSD benefits. But a severe TBI could be grounds for receiving benefits, if its effects make it impossible to continue working to earn an income. The SSD program exists to make sure that people in this position are not left with any way to make ends meet.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Injured photographer rediscovers a way to make things click,” Colleen Schrappen, Feb. 27, 2014

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