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Brain injury for less than a year what are my options?

Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “I was hit by a car last month. I have a severe brain injury, a broken leg, and a broken arm. My doctor has stated that I cannot work for nine months. I do not have much money in my emergency savings account. I have been working for about twenty years and paying money for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). I am wondering if I might qualify for SSDI benefits

Qualifying for SSDI with severe brain injury and broken bones

Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI benefits are available for claimants who have been severely injured, who have paid into the SSA Disability Trust Fund through their employment taxes, and who have earned sufficient work credits to be considered insured for SSDI. Additionally, and this is the kicker for you, claimants must also have a condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. In fact, SSDI benefits are considered long-term disability benefits and were never intended to sustain workers through a short-term crisis, even one as a severe as a brain injury. How do I support myself though a short-term disability due to brain injury? If you cannot work due to a short-term health condition such as a brain injury, you do have several options. Unfortunately, none of these options are very good or viable options for many claimants.  Chances are if any of these options had been available to you, you would not have written to ask about SSDI. With that said, these options are still worth reviewing.
  1. Check with your employer to see if they provide any type of short-term disability benefits or whether you purchased a short-term disability policy through your employer. Most likely if this was available you would already know, but it’s worth asking the question.
  2. See if your state offers any type of disability benefits for short-term disabilities. Note: there are currently five states that have state-mandated disability insurance requirements: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.
  3. Review whether you might qualify for any other type of benefits. For example, if you were injured due to the negligence of another driver you might qualify for compensation either through their car insurance policy or by filing a personal injury claim. If you were injured while on the job performing your normal job duties you might qualify for workers’ compensation. If you were injured while in the military on active duty you might qualify for veteran’s disability benefits.
  4. Talk to your family and friends about financial support. Although no one likes to borrow money, there are times when asking a friend or family member for support can be a viable option.
  5. Review means to raise money through fundraisers or by selling your personal belongings.
  6. Determine if you can get a short-term loan or use a credit card to sustain you for the next few months.
Bottom line: Social Security Disability Insurance is not available for any condition which is expected to last less than 12 continuous months, even a brain injury. If, however, you determine that your condition will last 12 months it’s important to apply immediately.