Q:

What are the requirements for getting disability due to post-concussive syndrome?

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Quick Answer

Concussions are classified as mild traumatic brain injuries and do not usually meet the legal criteria to receive Social Security disability benefits, although a person with post-concussive syndrome may be able to obtain disability by petitioning for a medical-vocational allowance, according to Nolo. When petitioning for medical-vocational allowance, you must provide documents such as emergency room records, doctor's notes, counselor's notes and copies of medical tests so that Social Security can assess the patient's residual functional capacity, or RBC.

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Full Answer

Residual functional capacity is a measure of an individual's maximum work-related capabilities and job limitations, explains Nolo. When determining whether a person with post-concussive syndrome is eligible for a medical-vocational allowance, Social Security examines his RBC alongside his work history, education and age to reach a judgment on whether jobs exist that are not too mentally taxing for him to perform. The patient is eligible for the medical-vocational allowance if the end decision is that his condition prevents him from obtaining gainful employment.

The more documentation the person is able to provide of job limitations, the more likely he is to receive disability for his traumatic brain injury, advises Nolo. In addition to direct evidence of the post-concussive syndrome, it may also be helpful to provide documentation of other conditions that affect functioning, such as anxiety or PTSD, if applicable. Results of neuropsychological or IQ testing can also assist the individual with his case.

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