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Spinal cord injuries and the impact on a person's ability to work

When a person suffers an injury to his or her spinal cord, it can cause lasting damage. These types of injuries are largely unpredictable, and it is often not immediately clear how the damage will impact a person's physical capabilities going forward. Some spinal cord injuries are relatively mild, and others can limit a person to the point where he or she can no longer work.

If you suffered an injury to the spinal cord, you may be wondering what this means for your future. The type of injury, whether it was complete or incomplete, has a large effect on this, as does the location of the injury. When a person is no longer able to work due to a traumatic injury, he or she could be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

What type of injury do you have?

Spinal cord injuries range significantly in their severity and impact on a person. The two main types of injuries to the spine are incomplete and complete. The main differences between these two types include the following:

  • Complete – A complete spinal cord injury happens when an accident or traumatic event totally severs the cord. Most people with complete spine injuries lose function, but therapy and rehabilitation may be able to help.
  • Incomplete – An incomplete spinal cord injury happens when there is a partial severing of the cord. A person can still retain some function, but the amount depends on the nature of the specific injury. 

What your injury means for you often depends on where your injury is. For example, a person can lose function from the point of injury and below while retaining function above the point of injury.

Your ability to secure disability benefits after a spinal cord injury depends on things like whether you can use your arms, how safe it would be for you to work independently, and whether your paralysis will likely be permanent.

The help you deserve

Suffering any type of spinal cord injury is a serious, traumatic and life-altering event. If you think you could have grounds to move forward with a claim for disability benefits after this type of injury, you do not have to fight for support alone. You have been through so much, and you will find significant benefit in leaning on the guidance and experience of a knowledgeable West Virginia disability benefits attorney.

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Shawn Taylor, PLLC
209 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: 304-932-4619
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