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Financial options for brain trauma patients

Traumatic brain injury survivors or those who have a loved one who is a survivor are probably aware of the long-lasting residuals and ongoing expenses one can suffer. Brain injuries that result in cognitive impairments such as memory loss, speaking, mobility problems, concentration and focus issues, or other problems severely alter a person’s lifestyle. When you can no longer work and pay for those expenses, what are your options?

Health insurance: If you are fortunate enough to have health insurance, you should have coverage for most of your medical expenses. However, when it comes to rehabilitation, some insurance policies have limitations, such as only allowing two to six weeks of therapy. With most brain injuries, therapy is crucial to recovery. Also, if your insurance is through your employer, and you lose your job, your coverage may be cut off.

Disability insurance: If your employer provides short-term disability, you may receive a portion of your salary for the first six months of absence. If long-term disability is provided, it will usually take over after the first six months of absence and will continue until retirement.

SSDI/SSI: Social Security disability may be applied for if you are no longer able to work as a result of your impairments. Various rules apply and criteria must be met to qualify, and the process takes a very long time. If you qualify, you receive a monthly benefit check, and Medicare insurance after a period of time.

Workers’ Compensation: If you were injured on the job, you are entitled to workers’ comp insurance. Every employer is required to carry this insurance. Workers’ comp insurance should pay a portion of your salary while you are unable to work and for medical care. It also may result in long-term benefits or even a lump-sum settlement; however, workers’ comp insurance follows strict guidelines when it comes to medical care.

Keep in mind that if you were injured at work by the recklessness or negligence of your employer, you may bypass workers’ comp, and retain an attorney to sue your employer for full damages in a civil court. Once you have agreed to workers’ comp terms, you forfeit your right to sue your employer.

If your brain injury was the result of any other accident that was the fault of another party, you have the right to sue for damages in a civil court.

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