Frequently Asked Questions

Support and Services

What is a case manager?

A case manager can be a nurse or social worker. They are supposed to aid the family throughout the hospital stay to coordinate services and therapies. They will be the one to work with the insurance company’s case manager. They are available to assist with finding available local resources for medical, social, and financial needs. The most important role of the case manager is helping the family and patient with discharge planning.

What’s the difference between a case manager, counselor, and social worker?

A social worker can provide similar services to that of a case manager (see above). A social worker will hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work. Their services generally include evaluating clients’ needs, connecting clients with services, and helping clients plan for short and long term needs. Social workers holding a LCSW can also provide counseling.

The term “counselor” can refer to one who offers psychological counseling or to a rehabilitation counselor
click here for more information on HHSC

What can a case manager/counselor/social worker do for me?

In short, HELP. Enlisting the aid of a Social Worker, case manager, or HHSC counselor is your best way to help your loved one cope with all the ‘red tape’ associated with getting assistance and services following an injury or diagnosis.

I was never hospitalized and I don’t have a case manager. What do I do?

The sad fact is that many people who have been hospitalized had no intervention from case management or social work. That is when you need to find a good advocate within the family who will search out resources and do the “fighting” for you. This advocate can begin by calling HHSC or AHIA.

How can I help my loved one if I don’t live in Texas?

An important role for someone who cannot be in state is to pick up the phone or log on to their computer. Often, family members and the patient themselves are too exhausted or emotionally drained to make phone calls or do research. Though you, as a caring friend or family member may not be in the nearby area, you can do the calling and researching that others cannot do, as they are probably spending all their time at the bedside.
For example, if you contact the AHIA office, we will try to arrange a personal visit to the hospital. We can offer your loved one and their family our support, advice, answer questions, and provide literature of many kinds, including our resource book.

Call or email us at:  (210) 614-4323

What do I do if we don’t have health insurance?

For those without insurance the important issue is to start applying for SSI/Medicaid/Medicare immediately (see our Top Ten Things to Know page for help) Many, if not all, programs through TDHS and HHS have long “interest lists” (waiting list) so the sooner you make contact the better.

Within the state of Texas there is also a State fund for those who are a “victim of crime”.

Crime Victims can call
Toll free: 800.983.9933
or go online at
and access an application form.

I suffered a traumatic brain injury, (not a stroke or tumor). What’s my best course of action?

If you have had a traumatic brain injury – not a stroke or tumor – you can apply for comprehensive rehab services (CRS) through HHSC. They will provide rehab in the hospital and after discharge. Often, HHSC will continue by sending the patient to post-acute rehab for as long as 90 days. The best outcome is to try and secure: acute inpatient, post-acute, community integration, and follow up with outpatient therapies.

In other words: seek help from HHSC and ask for rehabilitation services while in the hospital (inpatient), after-discharge (post-acute), and support in the community (versus in a hospital or nursing home), while following up with outpatient therapies.

The Brain and TBI

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is also known as a brain injury. It is an injury to the brain most often caused by external force to the skull.

What makes a brain injury “traumatic?”

Usually, a ‘traumatic’ brain injury is caused by external force to the skull. Other causes of brain injuries (aneurysms, brain tumors, etc.) are not classified as ‘traumatic.’

What causes a TBI?

The most common causes of TBI are motor vehicle crashes and falls, but they can be anything that causes the head to abruptly strike a solid object and the brain to hit the interior wall of the skull. Other causes are: physical assaults (such as gunshot wounds and child abuse) and sports/recreational injuries.

What are the consequences of TBI?

TBI varies in severity from mild to severe. People who experience a mild injury very often appear fine yet can have some lingering effects that impact their ability to resume their normal responsibilities at home, work, or school. They may exhibit difficulties with: concentration, organization, managing multiple tasks simultaneously, memory, relationships with family, business associates, friends, and/or personality changes. People whose injuries are considered to be moderate or severe, exhibit varying degrees of difficulty in cognition (thinking), emotional, behavioral, physical and social areas. They may suffer permanent disabilities, which affect their returning to a pre-injury lifestyle.

Why is TBI called “The Silent Epidemic?”

TBI has been referred to as “The Silent Epidemic” because of the staggering number of people who are injured each year and the lack of public awareness about its consequences.

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