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What does extreme limitation after a brain injury mean?

Missourians who have suffered a brain injury might be able to receive Social Security disability benefits for injury. However, the criteria needed for the Social Security Administration to approve the benefits must be met. There are certain terms that are used that many laypeople do not fully understand. It can be a confusing process. One is how "extreme limitation" is defined in the context of what the person can do. For example, if a person cannot stand up from a seated position easily, it can be difficult to find a job.

Having an extreme limitation in motor function means that the person cannot stand from the seated position, cannot maintain balance when standing and walking, and cannot use the upper extremities to perform work-related activities. The assessment will depend on how much the person's functioning is interfered with by the effects of the injury. The inability to stand up after being seated means that when the person is seated, he or she cannot stand and stay in an upright position without help from someone else or by using a device like a walker or crutches.

The inability to maintain balance while standing means that the person cannot maintain an upright position when he or she stands and walks without having another person to help or by using a device like a walker, crutches or something similar. The inability to use the upper extremities means that the person has lost function in both upper extremities. This will include the shoulders, hands, wrists and fingers. This will hinder the person's ability to do work activities in an independent way, to sustain them, and to do jobs that require these motor movements. Gross movements would include gripping, holding and reaching. Fine movements would include pinching and using the fingers. The person will not be able to life, carry, push or pull.

A brain injury can come from trauma, an illness or a condition and it can negatively influence the person's ability to function in what is considered a normal way. This might stop them from being able to work and could be the basis for an approval of SSD benefits. A legal professional experienced in Social Security disability can help with a case stemming from neurological problems.

Source: Social Security Administration, "11.00 Neurological -- 2. Extreme Limitation," accessed on June 13, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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