Brain injuries and fraud-please direct me to a resource.

  1. Can someone please advise me on how someone would go about determining a "true" brain injured from someone who is, in my opinion, fraudulent and what can be done to assure that social security disability is issued to those who truly need it?
    I have a diverse background in nursing, and although I know of many people who are truly disabled, it is really upsetting to see taxpayors having to support these kinds of claims. Please advise. I need exact testing that proves disability vs fraud-is there such a thing or is it through neuropsych testing only?

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    About Sherbear

    Joined: Jul '00; Posts: 1
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   ngtgle
    How funny I should come across this....I was an acute care nurse for 9yrs and this Feb, I ended up as a single car-near drowning victim and now diagnosed with anoxic brain injury. I cannot do my job right now because I had forgotten how. The one to truely diagnose brain injury, I found out to be is a neuropsychologist. I had to go through hours of battery of tests(cognitive and motor) skills to determine where some of my injuries are located and the type of rehab I need. I know there are people out there who make a living scamming the system. I've seen all types. Try being on the otherside now. I have been mislabled as having psuedodementia-anxiety-stressed-depressive disorder. You have to becareful labeling somebody who has a true brain injury vs somebody with a psychiatric disorder. It could mean the difference between someone who really NEEDS the rehab.

    hope this helps!
  4. by   PPL
    Yes, TBI can be a strange animal! Many times, once the initial trauma is recovered from, the person can be left with many residual problems. These are often not detectable except by someone very skilled in testing who has reliable information re the pre-injury level of functioning. Also, those who are close to the individual, loved ones, etc., can be a huge help in obtaining information about what was and what is, pre and post injury. People recovering from TBI may oft times look completely "normal" which "sets them up" in a situation where they then have to prove they aren't at their "normal" level of functioning, yet the residual problems can make it more difficult for them to defend themselves of charges of malingering. I don't know if this helps at all, and I have certainly seen all sorts of abuses of the system, but I would tread lightly and err on the safe side here, unless you are actually the one who has to decide if the person gets benefits or not. If that is the case, I think you need more information, reliable testing, etc.
  5. by   PPL
    Oops! Forgot to give you this site, which may help some too. Go to, not just a chat site, but informational too. Good luck!
  6. by   ngtgle
    PPL has hit it on the dot. I am one of those who looks fine and healthy on the outside. I walk(a bit funny now), I drive, I function like someone is normal individual who doesn't have a brain injury. This is where the discrimation comes in. I had forgotten most of my education, I get tired very easily, I burned my kitchen numerous of times and I was told that I keep repeating the same things. I am being set up for rehab soon. The TBI chat is a great place to get answers to your questions. They have been a great support group and I am among those who are like me. There are supporters and caregivers along with the survivors. One the last note....This is a terrible way of life to live. I loved nursing and now my knowledge is gone. I cannot move foward yet and I am unwashed, the walking dead. Others cannot start to appreciate brain injury. Others don't realize you really cannot move foward due to extreme fatigue and you don't know what your brain will do to you next. Please keep in mind when you deal with a brain injured patient, you have to becareful what you say and your actions. We don't understand it any other way it is suppose to be presented and we take it for what it is.

    Another site is
    another way to get good insite is\damned.htm.
  7. by   DIANACRRN
    I have been a Rehabilitation Nurse for 17 years, 15 in TBI nursing. I have seen some of the most devastating head injuries. I have also seen folks with "minor" head injuries, who have had "major" deficits. Even though scans are "normal" these folks are not. The higher level cognitive skills,which we take for granted, were impaired and that had a major impact on their life. Many could not return to their previous jobs, their role in the family changed.Many times I heard from the family members that they were "not like themselves". There was a big adjustment for the entire family unit. Patients had a significant problem with depression post head injury.Other folks could not relate with them. The folks who have the tell tale scars of their injury have it easier than the folks who bear no scars. I often thought that the folks who were too impaired to realize that they were impaired were the lucky ones.
    I have worked with several Neuropsychologists who were able to tease out what was damaged. It took a lot of time and testing and input from family, even school records to figure out what was going on.
    I have only seen 3 cases out of hundreds who "attempted" to make their deficits look worse, but were easily ruled out by neuropsych testing. These were worker's comp. cases trying to milk it.
    Every brain injury is significant.
  8. by   PPL
    Thanks. Your post was informative. My sister had a devastating head injury at the age of sixteen. She was one that never should have made it, but she did! Then they said she "would be a vegetable" and never walk/talk/think, etc. Somehow, she came out of coma. She had to relearn everything! Though she survived, later married and had two children, she was left with some deficits. A fixed and dilated pupil, balance problems, double vision, later developed a seizure disorder, inability to deal with minor stressors and at times, very inappropriate laughter and tears. She still was able to hold down simple jobs and has the sweetest spirit. She is well known and loved in her town. It is amazing how varied TBI can be. Also, I have followed some Workman's Comp cases and did not find many of them particularly motivated to return to work, but they weren't TBI cases. Thanks again everybody; interesting topic.
  9. by   BIGBAZZER
    Im a student nurse in the UK and having read this thread I can tell you I have had a recent TBI which is slowly recovering a mild one but changed my personality and behaviour apparently on my last placement, which I did some stuff which is leading to me having a fit to practice hearing and probable removal from the course, anyhow someone with a TBI would find it hard to "fake" the injury over a long period of time, it is hard to fake some of the tests apparenlty and would be obvious to a neurologist if this was the case. having had this injury for a few months and slowly getting better, anyone who fakes this injury should be ashamed of themselves, its painful, upsetting as you start to realise how you have been affected, (as people who know you tell you things you have said or done) that you dont remember. For me the university are very unsupportive to this and apparently I wont be able to complete my final year of the course due to having had a TBI which I think is unfair really.

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