Welcome to Texas Brain Injury Alliance


support Texas Brain Injury AllianceTexas Brain Injury Alliance (TexasBIA) provides help, hope and a voice for Texans who have sustained a brain injury.

TexasBIA is a statewide non-profit organization wholly committed to helping brain injury survivors prevail. It is one of 24 state Brain Injury Alliances chartered by the United States Brain Injury Alliance and dedicated to improving lives for individuals who live with brain injury, their families, and the professionals who serve them through awareness, prevention, advocacy, support, research, education and community engagement.

Brain injury is not an event—it marks the start of a neurological disease that most often lasts a lifetime. Individuals who sustain a brain injury must have quick access to expert trauma care, followed by specialized rehabilitation and lifelong disease management to live healthy, independent and satisfying lives.

Email us at info@texasbia.org

Texas BIA proudly supports:

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NEWS and Information


Applying for Disability Benefits after a Brain Injury

submitted by:  Bryan Mac Murray, Outreach Specialist, Social Security Disability Help

A range of brain injuries can qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), but in order to be found eligible for benefits, you will need to understand the SSA’s eligibility criteria. The following information will help you determine if you are eligible, collect the right documentation and navigate your way through the application and appeals processes.

How to Medically Qualify for Benefits

Brain injuries can cause a number of symptoms, including seizures, paralysis, loss of coordination, and impulse control issues, among other cognitive and emotional complications. The SSA utilizes a manual known as the Blue Book to review medical documentation with Social Security Disability (SSD) claims.

The listing for brain injuries notes that several other listed conditions may be reviewed, dependent upon the symptoms your brain injury causes, including the listings for convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy, stroke, and organic mental disorders. Thorough medical records will be necessary for you to qualify for benefits, and many include any or all of the following, dependent upon your symptoms:

  • Physician notes documenting the frequency, duration, and type of seizures you experience, including when they occur (day/night) and any triggers that may apply in your case
  • EEG results, documenting the diagnosis of a seizure disorder
  • Medications you take and other treatments or therapies employed to try to control your seizures and other symptoms
  • Records from a psychiatrist or counselor, documenting impulse control, depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional symptoms
  • Speech and other cognitive evaluations, including an IQ test if appropriate, and notes from your physician documenting the loss of cognitive and/or communication abilities
  • Physical findings and exam notes, reporting the features of your limitations, including weakness, fatigue, motor muscle control and coordination problems, and paralysis, among others
  • Imaging tests, which may include MRIs, CT scans, and brain mapping, showing physical abnormalities at the root of your symptoms

In addition to the documentation from your various healthcare providers, other information can also be helpful in proving your disability, including any or all of the following:

  • A journal, kept by you, recording the symptoms you experience, including seizures and episodes of emotional outbursts or other mental and psychological symptoms
  • Statements from friends, family members, or caregivers regarding your daily activities and physical, cognitive, or emotional limitations
  • Records from your previous employment, documenting any disciplinary or performance issues associated with the symptoms of your brain injury, including impulse control, concentration, attendance, or other “behavioral” problems on the job

How to Financially Qualify for Benefits

The SSA has two disability programs for which you may qualify with a brain injury, and both programs have financial eligibility rules you must meet.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): for this program, you must have a work history during which you paid Social Security taxes, and must also have income of less than $1,040 per month, as of 2013.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): for this program, you must have very limited income and other financial resources available to pay for your everyday needs and ongoing expenses.

The SSA will need to see formal documentation of your income and assets or other financial resources, including any or all of the following:

  • Bank statements, including recent checking and savings account statements
  • Retirement or investment account statements
  • Benefit statements, if you receive payments from workers compensation, state disability programs, veteran’s benefits, or other benefits
  • Paystubs and/or copies of your most recent tax returns
  • Financial information on your spouse, if you are married
  • Information on cash or other assistance you receive from friends, family, or social service or charity organizations

How to Apply for Benefits

OR

  • You can schedule an appointment to apply in person at your local SSA office by calling 1-800-772-1213.

How to Appeal a Denial

If you are initially denied benefits, you will need to appeal the decision to continue trying for SSDI/SSI benefits. The denial notice you receive in the mail will include information on how to appeal the decision.

Ensure you follow the directions provided and submit your request for a reconsideration of your claim or for an appeal hearing by the deadline date noted in the notice. You will have 60 days from the date of the denial notice to submit your formal request for an appeal. Failure to file a timely request will result in the dismissal and closure of your claim.

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Researchers looking for hope for brain injuries…

DALLAS — It’s a time of year when people look forward to great things to come in the year ahead. The Dallas Morning News discovered the following great things to come for brain injury in North Texas.

Therapy for brain injuries

We’ve all heard the singsong phrase, “Practice makes perfect.”

If you can’t sing a song, practice singing. If you can’t play the violin, practice playing. If you can’t read a book, practice reading. For those of us with normal, intact brains, the more we practice, the more we eventually learn what we’re practicing.

Not so for someone with brain injury.

No matter how much they practice, most people who’ve suffered from a brain injury can’t learn even the most menial tasks they were able to do before the injury, like walking or opening a door, says Dr. Michael Kilgard, professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“It’s just that the brain is in a state that’s not conducive for learning,” he says.

That’s why Kilgard and his team at UTD are working on a therapy that will change the state of neurons in a brain damaged by stroke, making them more conducive to learning… READ MORE

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Brain-injury expert says concussions have devastating impact on football

COLLEGE STATION – Brain injuries suffered by NFL players are now becoming commonplace and many more cases are almost certain to occur with tragic results, said an expert from Boston College during a sports medicine symposium Friday at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Ann McKee, director of neuropathology at Boston College, also serves as a member of the Mackey White Traumatic Brain Injury Committee for the National Football League. She is an expert on brain injuries, especially those involving chronic traumatic encephalopathy, called CTE.

She has examined numerous brains of deceased NFL players, including that of former San Diego Charger Junior Seau, who committed suicide with a gunshot wound to the chest on May 2, 2012 at the age of 43. Later studies by the National Institutes of Health concluded that Seau suffered from CTE, a type of chronic brain damage that has also been found in other deceased former NFL players… READ MORE