Traumatic Brain Injury - Returning to Work
Because there are different levels of disability concerning traumatic brain injury it is important to plan financial support according to the survivor's degree of disability.
Individuals who sustain a traumatic brain injury and are able to return to work full or part time have the ability to earn an income and greatly help their planning regarding financial support. It is extremely important for the survivor to be careful in reentering the workplace whether it is full or part time and to be fully aware of all of the services and benefits available to him or her including:
- The Brain Injury Association of America (national association) and each state Brain Injury Association have programs helping survivors to reenter the workforce.
- Each state has a vocational rehabilitation department that can help the survivor with retraining in reentering the workforce.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that provides protection to employees and job applicants with disabilities. There are protections under the ADA that the survivor must be aware of that can greatly help him or her in reentering the workforce.
Some options that may help when attempting to return to work following a traumatic brain injury:
- Return to work gradually starting three mornings a week or even working from home to start with.
- Returning with shorter hours
- Taking more breaks
- Returning with less workload
- Taking up a lesser role in the beginning
It is important to use compensatory strategies and external aids especially in the workplace such as:
- To do lists
- Mobile Phones
- Computer Applications
- Wall Charts
- Tape Recorders or Dictaphones
- Electronic Organizers
- Using sticky backed notes
All of these can help with improving organization and memory.