Getting Social Security Disability for subdural hematomas is not always easy, because they usually heal in a few months. To qualify for a disability program, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you need to suffer a qualifying impairment that lasts a year or more. However, if your subdural hematoma persists or if you have additional symptoms related to a traumatic brain injury, you may qualify.
The disability lawyers from Berger and Green understand how difficult it is to care for your family when you cannot work. We will help you file your application or your appeal so you get the disability benefits you need. Call our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 for a free case review with a member of our team.
Qualifying for Disability With a Subdural Hematoma
If your subdural hematoma symptoms prevent you from working, or if you have other symptoms related to your head injury, you may suffer from a qualifying impairment under the Social Security Administration (SSA) rules. Section 11.18 – Traumatic Brain Injury in the Blue Book of impairment listings contains the criteria you need to meet to draw monthly benefits.
Under Section 11.18, you have two ways to qualify for benefits. If you can provide the SSA with medical evidence that shows you suffer from “disorganization of motor function” that makes it difficult to stand up, balance, or use your hands and arms, you will likely qualify. Otherwise, you need medical evidence that shows you have “marked limitation” in your physical abilities in one or more of these areas:
- Understanding instructions or other information; or
- Remembering things; or
- Interacting with other people; or
- Concentrating and focusing; or
- Adapting to change; or
- Managing your tasks.
In some cases, patients might suffer from a subdural hematoma and have other signs of a brain injury without experiencing any significant physical impairments. In this instance, you can still qualify for benefits if your condition causes cognitive issues that prevent you from working. If this better fits your impairment, you may qualify under Section 12.02 – Neurocognitive Disorders. You will still need to supply medical evidence, such as clinical testing and medical imaging scans, to prove your condition.
You Can Still Qualify for Disability If You Do Not Meet the Criteria Under an Impairment Listing.
If you do not meet a Blue Book listing, you may still receive benefits based on your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). This evaluation of your abilities allows the SSA to better understand how your impairment affects your everyday life. There are three ways the SSA can evaluate your RFC:
- A doctor from Disability Determination Services completes an assessment based on your medical records and application information;
- Your physician completes an assessment based on their records, your prognosis, and their knowledge of your case; or
- A physician paid by the SSA completes the assessment after an in-office exam.
All three of these methods can help the SSA understand some important information about your limitations. Your RFC evaluation determines:
- What type of work you can do;
- How often you can work; and
- How long you can work.
If your RFC shows you cannot work enough hours to earn a living, you might receive approval for benefits based on your subdural hematoma and other symptoms.
Meeting the Technical Qualifications for Disability Benefits
In addition to suffering a qualifying impairment, you must meet technical qualifications to receive SSDI or SSI benefits.
To meet these criteria for SSDI benefits, you must:
- Earn less than the current Substantial Gainful Activity limit;
- Have enough work credits based on your age; and
- Have enough recent work to meet the work credit rules to receive SSDI.
For SSI benefits, you must earn under a certain limit and have few personal assets to qualify for the program. Our attorneys can look at your finances and work history to determine if meet the technical criteria for SSDI or SSI benefits.
Fighting a Denial of Your Disability Benefits
Many people who apply for disability receive a denial based on their initial claim. This is true even when they appear to meet all published criteria for these programs.
The reasons for denial vary widely, but often center on:
- Not having the appropriate medical evidence to show a long-term impairment;
- A technical denial; or
- A skipped question or wrong answer on an application.
We can help you understand your disability denial and navigate the appeals process to try to get the benefits you need. We can also try to recover back pay for the time it took you to fight the denial. Give us a call as soon as possible after you receive your denial notice, and let us go to work for you.
- File your appeal and get on the docket for a hearing;
- Investigate why the SSA denied your claim;
- Rectify any issues with your initial application;
- Prepare your case for the appeals hearing;
- Represent you to the Administrative Law Judge who oversees your hearing;
- Argue for overturning your denial;
- Secure your monthly cash benefits and back pay, when possible; and
- Explain the next steps in the appeals process, if this is not successful.
Getting Disability for a Subdural Hematoma in Pittsburgh
The disability team from Berger and Green can help you with the hurdles you face in getting benefits based a subdural hematoma. We can help you understand your qualifications, review your initial claim paperwork, and go to bat for you if the SSA denies your claim or suspends the benefits you already receive. Call our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.