Financial assistance following a brain injury is important for both individuals and families wherever they live, including in Missouri. Various federal and state programs, as well as community organizations, can help a person recover financially in the event that he or she has trouble with cognitive processes and is thus unable to work for a year or longer.

The best known federal programs are Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. In addition to these programs and some state programs, religious organizations, community groups and even local fund-raising events can help people with mental disabilities following brain injuries. Benefits vary widely by state. Anyone suffering from such cognitive impairments or his or her family can contact the Brain Injury Association of Missouri to find out how to get financial assistance.

Under the SSI program, a disabled who has little or no income can get help in the form of cash payments to pay for food, clothing and a place to live. Under the SSDI program, financial benefits are provided to the person, his or her spouse and/or children, if he or she paid into the Social Security system through taxes before becoming unable to work for a year or more after the brain injury. Whether or not an individual will be eligible for these programs can be determined online, but it is advisable to seek an appointment with the Social Security Administration for help in filing a disability claim.

In addition to these two federal programs, state or local governments also may offer financial assistance to disabled people. Eligibility criteria for these programs vary by locale. There are strict eligibility requirements, such as a medical evaluation, to receive benefits under these programs and not everyone may be eligible to receive them. An individual may want to enlist the services of an attorney if a request for assistance has been refused.

Source: Brain Injury Association of America, “Is there financial assistance for people with brain injury and their families?” accessed Dec. 16, 2014