Top Ten Things You Should Know

Determine who will help your loved one access services before discharge.

  • If you have insurance, they will likely assign you a case manager.
  • Ask to talk to the hospital social worker.
  • If you have already been discharged or were never admitted to the hospital, Click here to learn more.

Talk with the case manager, counselor, or social worker.

  • Discuss with him/her the patient’s progress and needs upon discharge.
  • Ask them to help you identify supports and services that may be available.
  • Ideally, they will assist you in making contact with the appropriate agencies.
  • Apply immediately!
  • Some programs allow immediate access. However, others may have a waiting list.
  • Contact each agency directly for information on any additional programs that may be available.
  • The left-hand side bar of this page lists some of the main government agencies you might want to contact.

Keep track of the following:

  • Keep a daily journal of patient’s mental and physical changes.
  • As you think of them, keep a list of questions for the doctor or others on the treatment team.
  • Keep track of therapies, medications and results.

Reach out to family and friends.

  • Establish a support system.
  • Organize family and friends to visit the patient.
  • Organize family and friends to support the family.
  • Organize family and friends to help with tasks needed to prepare for the future.

Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid immediately.

  • This is a program of the Social Security Administration.
  • It provides monthly payments to people who are, among other qualifiers, disabled and have a low income.
  • Parents DO NOT need to be eligible themselves in order for a disabled child to receive SSI.
  • If eligible for SSI, the patient can usually get Medicaid – health insurance which is tied into the SSI benefits package.
  • Discuss this with your case manager and call (800) 772-1213.
  • Contact your local Social Security office for more information, or apply online at

Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare immediately.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly payments for workers and eligible members of their families if an illness or injury is expected to keep the worker from working for a year or longer.
  • Medicare is a health insurance program tied into SSDI.
  • A new beneficiary must wait 24 months after SSDI benefits begin to receive Medicare coverage, in addition to the 5-month waiting period after the disability onset.
  • Enrollment in the Medicare program is automatic for SSDI recipients – no application process is necessary.
  • No monthly premium is charged for hospital insurance to persons receiving SSDI benefits.
  • Discuss this with your case manager and call: (800) 772-1213.
  • Contact your local Social Security office for more information, or apply online at

Contact the patient’s school immediately.

  • If the patient is in school, contact the principal to arrange for the student’s return to school or for services while not in school.
  • For patients who are not able to attend school, ask the principal about Homebound Services.
  • Federal Law requires school districts to provide all students with an education, in one form or another.

Explore guardianship

  • If the patient is nearing or over the age of 16, and if there are potential problems with the patient’s ability to consent to treatment, consider consulting an attorney about types of guardianship to help in securing necessary treatment for the patient without delay.
  • To leave this site and go to the DADS site for more information, click here.

Get in touch with local support groups.

  • These groups can be an invaluable resource for information on a wide variety of topics, including treatment facilities and specific programs that may be available in your area.
  • You can learn more about local services in the Resources section of this website.
  • You can contact the Brain Injury Association of Texas (800-392-0040) for information on groups in other cities.


  • This site provides a self-screener that helps Texans identify the human services benefits they may be eligible to receive.
  • This is a new site that has been developed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission(HHSC).
  • You can contact your local HHSC office or call 2-1-1.
  • Visit the website at