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Services And Support For Brain Injury Survivors

De Caro & Kaplen partner Michael V. Kaplen, a three-term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, and professorial lecturer at law, teaching a course in brain injury law at the George Washington University Law School, discusses the importance of providing support and services for individuals with brain injuries. He highlights that a brain injury doesn’t define a person and that understanding and helping the individual is important. Statistics reveal that many individuals with brain injuries do not receive support from government programs or private insurance.

Why is it important to provide services and support to people with a traumatic brain injury?

When a brain injury is sustained, the person is still there, and we all need to understand it is the person that needs our support and assistance.  Every brain injury is different, and services and support may vary from person to person.  These services can improve the quality of life for brain injury survivors, improve outcomes, provide support, and allow for independence.

What are the services and supports that may be essential for individuals with brain damage?

  • Acute Rehabilitation: Necessary for physical injuries, cognitive skills, language, communication, movement, and behavior.
  • Sub-Acute Rehabilitation: Focuses on community living skills, behavior regulation, re-employment, and independent living skills.
  • Outpatient Services: Includes counseling and behavioral services to address emotional and behavioral issues.
  • Home Care Services: Offers nursing, home health aide, personal care, and therapy services.
  • Independent Living Skills Training: Provides training in day-to-day activities to promote independence.
  • Housing Assistance: May involve rent subsidies, assisted living, group home arrangements, or home changes.
  • Long Term Supportive Services: Includes household tasks, meal preparation, shopping, and bill payment.
  • Support Groups: Can benefit both individuals with brain injuries and their family members.

How can you determine what services and support are necessary for a brain injury survivor?

Consult a life care planner who can review medical and rehabilitation records, interview individuals, family members, and medical providers and devise a life care plan for present and future needs.

How can you obtain funding for necessary services and support following a traumatic brain injury?

Funding for these services can be challenging, as private insurance may not cover all necessary services. Different states offer various funding sources and waiver programs for brain injury services. Individuals may also be eligible for social security disability, Medicare, and Medicaid.

About The Author

Michael V. Kaplen

Michael V. Kaplen represents victims of vehicle collisions, unsafe buildings and construction sites, and medical malpractice, and is a preferred attorney of The Brain Injury Association of America.

Michael is board certified as a Civil Trial Advocate and board certified in medical malpractice litigation. He is a Professorial Lecturer in Law, The George Washington University Law School, The Legal Aspects of Traumatic Brain Injury.

Michael is past chairman of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Automobile, Highway and Premise Liability Section, past chairman of the AAJ Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, three term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State served two terms as chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council and vice-president, New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.

He was invited by President Obama to participate in the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit.

He is admitted to courts in New York, Florida, and Washington, DC. He has been selected as a New York Super Lawyer and recognized by Best Lawyers of America and U.S. News and World Report in personal injury law.

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