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Traumatic brain injuries often lead to debilitating impairments

We had mentioned that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month earlier this month on our Minneapolis Social Security disability law blog. But October is also National Brain Injury Awareness Month. Although breast cancer and traumatic brain injuries are very different medical conditions, both conditions can lead to disability.

Brain injuries are not always severe. A concussion might require someone to rest for a few days before doing any strenuous physical activity. On the other hand, a traumatic brain injury could have devastating effects and make it extremely difficult for someone to work or do other normal day-to-day activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of injury-related deaths in the U.S. are caused by traumatic brain injuries. This severe injury is often caused by car accidents, assaults or falls. Any type of violent impact or penetration of the brain can lead to a brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury symptoms might only last temporarily. But many victims experience long-term symptoms that can affect their ability to think, reason and communicate. A brain injury could even affect one's ability to taste, smell or to feel objects. Traumatic brain injuries can also alter victims' personalities and lead to mood swings, depression or aggression. These long-term symptoms can be debilitating, making it especially difficult to function in the workplace.

Brain injuries cannot always be avoided, but folks can prevent some injuries by making sure they wear helmets when riding bicycles or motorcycles. Folks should also be careful when playing contact sports. When a brain injury is suspected, it is extremely important that folks get immediate medical help. In some cases, brain injury symptoms can be minimized when injuries are treated right away.

When a traumatic brain injury results in mental disorders or significant impairments and prevents an individual from being able to function at work, the individual may be eligible to obtain Social Security Disability Insurances benefits. To learn more about obtaining disability benefits for a traumatic brain injury and successfully applying for benefits, folks may want to consult an attorney who knows how to protect the rights and interests of brain injury victims.

Source: VOXXI, "Brain injury symptoms and types: Why you should know more," Hope Gillette, Oct. 15, 2012

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