Harlan Still & Koch

The costs of living with a spinal cord injury are staggering


Spinal cord injuries can arise from a variety of circumstances. For example, a person in Missouri could suffer a spinal cord injury after being involved in a car crash, a sporting accident or even a fall down the stairs. What they will soon find, however, is that the costs associated with living after having suffered a spinal cord injury can be staggering.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, on average, a person with a high tetraplegia spinal cord injury can expect to spend on average over $1 million in medical and living expenses the first year of their injury, and almost $185,000 on average each subsequent year. A person with a low tetraplegia spinal cord injury can expect to spend on average nearly $770,000 in medical and living expenses the first year of their injury, and over $113,000 on average each subsequent year. A person with paraplegia can expect to spend on average almost $519,000 on medical and living expenses the first year of their injury, and approximately $69,000 each subsequent year. Finally, a person with any level of incomplete motor function can expect to spend around $347,000 on average on medical and living expenses the first year of their injury, and over $42,000 each subsequent year.

What makes these numbers even more astounding is that they do not include costs such as loss of wages and fringe benefits from being unable to work, and also lost productivity. These costs averaged over $71,000 annually in 2014. As this shows, those with a spinal cord injury can expect to incur a great deal of expenses that they may be unable to cope with financially.

Fortunately, our nation has a safety net in place to help people who find themselves suffering from a disabling injury that is long-lasting and prevents them from working. Social Security disability benefits for injuries may be available to qualifying individuals suffering from spinal cord disorders. This can include those who have been paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury. People with a spinal cord injury may find that their life has forever changed. Losing the ability to work is an emotional and financial blow. Fortunately, a successful SSD claim can go a long way to helping those with spinal cord injuries cope with the many expenses associated with their condition.

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Harlan Still & Koch

515 Cherry Street
Suite 300
Columbia, MO 65201

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