Brain Injury and Social Security Disability Insurance
Process of Approval
The impact of brain injury on life and viability is a serious issue in this country. I am pursuing a legislative change to Social Security Disability Insurance, specifically with the evaluative process for approval when a citizen suffers a brain injury. The adjustments I am proposing to the bill areas follows:
Determination At Onset of Injury – The treating neurological surgeon and/or treating physician will make the determination pertaining to the viability of sustainable work for the 12 months from onset. If they believe that work will have direct issues due to the injury, a form will be filled out and submitted starting Social Security Support.
One Year from Onset of Injury – Similar to the criteria for “Onset of Injury”, the treating doctor(s) may extend Social Security support for an additional year unquestioned.
Two, Three, and Four Years from Onset of Injury – Treating Doctors will submit a recommendation and all medical. A Social Security Evaluator can choose to continue SSDI on a yearly basis or request a court date for a judge’s determination. If a court date is chosen, payments will NOT stop until the judge’s date of decision. If; however, the injured delays court for any reason, other than emergent medical, payment will be stopped.
Fifth Year from Onset of Injury – As this is considered level out period, a Judge must sign off on the continuation of benefits. Once approved, payments will continue for life. As an encouragement to try to continue working at some level, an offset will come into play with a $75 reduction per $100 earned, not to fall below $1.
Years 1 – 4 of payments will allow for adjustments thorough an investigation to the impact of this injury. The benefit of immediate approval and continued stepping allows us to provide support for those injured and also benefits our healthcare and welfare system as we would then be keeping the injured viable to maintain some standard of life and care. Medicare should also be written to take effect immediately as employment based insurances would become a full burden of the injured. However, in my opinion, the offset noted at year 5 would be better presented as an additional bill. Most notably the offset should apply to all Disability under Social Security Disability Insurance to some level.
In brain injuries, the fifth year permanency is related to research where this is considered “as good as you will get” in terms of recovery. However, with the combined understanding that age related decline in abilities will be at a faster pace for brain injured patients than the rest of “non‐injured” society, the intent is to provide a safety net to the injured and to also encourage a return to some kind of work. By creating this offset, the injured will be able to return to work while also paying into the Social Security system through regular employment deductions. This setup benefits everyone in the long run.