Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) State Partnership Grant Program

What is a TBI?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen when an external force causes severe damage to the brain. Common causes of TBI include falls, automobile accidents, and sports injuries. There are many different names for TBI such as concussion, Shaken Baby Syndrome, head injury, or anoxia (loss of oxygen) due to trauma. Data from NIDILRR-supported research finds 1.56 million TBIs are sustained in one year. 

TBI can affect many parts of a person's life. People living with TBI and their families often require a range of services and supports. Individual needs are different and can change over time, so it is important that systems provide person-centered services and supports.

TBI Technical Assistance and Resource Center (TBI TARC)

ACL’s TBI Technical Assistance and Resource Center helps TBI State Partnership Program grantees promote access to integrated, coordinated services and supports for people who have sustained a TBI, their families, and their caregivers. The Center also provides a variety of resources to non-grantee states, people affected by brain injury, policymakers, and providers.

TBI TARC is committed to integrating the voice of people with lived experience of TBI into its products, resources, and technical assistance approach. The Center’s activities are overseen and guided by people with lived experience and other subject matter experts.

Have a question about TBI or ACL’s TBI Programs? The TBI TARC team is here to help. Send your inquiry or request to tbitarc@hsri.org to receive help.

Other Resources:

  • Building Up TBI Systems: Tools for Successful TBI State Programs
    Since 1997, grantees have worked to increase access to brain injury services and to bolster the systems that advocate on behalf of people seeking services. The considerations and strategies laid out here are based on these grantees’ experiences. Broken out by program stage, they are useful for states at all levels of program and system development—from those that are just beginning to develop infrastructure to those with developed infrastructure in place.
  • Brain Injury and COVID-19: Tips for Successful Navigation
    The introduction of COVID-19 to the human population around December 2019 has resulted in a pandemic that continues to affect the entire world. Little attention has been placed on the effects of the fallout caused by COVID-19 on individuals who are living with brain injury. Highlighted in this document are the effects of COVID-19 on five members of the TBI TARC’s TBI Advisory and Leadership (TAL) group and strategies for coping that have worked for them.  
  • Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center: Traumatic Brain Injury (funded by NIDILRR)
  • National Data and Statistical Center for TBI

Webinars:

2021 TBI Tuesdays Webinar Series

In observance of Brain Injury Awareness Month 2021 and in lieu of the Administration for Community Living’s annual in-person Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Stakeholder Day, we hosted virtual TBI Tuesdays (1:00 - 4 pm ET) during the months of March and April. See this webpage for webinar replays and materials.

December 18, 2020: Telehealth During a Pandemic: Maintaining Accessible Services

Webinar details and materials.

About the TBI State Partnership Grant Program

The TBI State Partnership Grant Program provides funding to help states increase access to services and supports for individuals with TBI throughout the lifetime. This grant program is one component of the federal TBI Program, along with Protection & Advocacy, which is expected to:

  • Help states expand and improve state and local capability so individuals with TBI and their families have better access to comprehensive and coordinated services.

  • Generate support from local and private sources for sustainability of funded projects after federal support terminates. This is done through state legislative, regulatory, or policy changes that promote the integration of TBI-related services into state service delivery systems.

  • Encourage systems change activities so that individual states can 1) evaluate their current structures and policies and 2) improve their systems as needed to better meet the needs of individuals with TBI and their families.

Grants to States

Federal TBI Program grants to states have undergone several changes since the TBI Act of 1996 mandated the program. The most recent state grants were awarded in 2014 and require that grant activities increase access to rehabilitation and other services. Specifically, the states must address four barriers to needed services by:

  • Screening to identify individuals with TBI

  • Building a trained TBI workforce by providing professional training

  • Providing information about TBI to families and referrals to appropriate service providers

  • Facilitating access to needed services through resource facilitation

State Partnership Grants (SPGs) cannot be used to support primary injury prevention initiatives, research initiatives, or the provision of direct services. Funds may be used, however, to educate the public about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of TBI.

Between 1997 and 2018, 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia received at least one state agency grant. For the current funding cycle (FY 2018-2021), 24 states receive funding for State Partnership Program grants. See "Current Grantees" below. A new funding cycle (FY2021-FY2026 for up to 28 states is anticipated to start on July 1, 2021.

Current Grantees

Highlighted State and Workgroup Resources:

  • TBI Advisory Board Toolkit
    States across the U.S. have established or are working toward implementing a TBI advisory council or board. These boards serve to identify and report on gaps in resources and services and make recommendations on ways to improve and develop needed resources and services that benefit people living with a brain injury; their caregivers, family members, and health care providers; and community stakeholders. This toolkit includes 14 individual components/sections and aims to provide guidance and best practices to help state programs establish or sustain these advisory boards and, most importantly, to help them fully engage all advisory board members, especially people with brain injury, in planning and leading state work.

Authorizing Legislation

The current authorizing legislation is the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L 115-377; (42 U.S.C. 300d–52). It raised the authorization levels for the TBI State Partnership Program and TBI P&A and officially designates ACL as the administering agency for both programs. Also, the new provision for partners at the Centers for Disease Control will allow them to implement and analyze concussion prevalence and incidence data, filling a longstanding data gap that will bolster all TBI programs.

See this page for information about the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2018.

TBI Programs Transition to ACL

The current authorizing legislation is the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L 115-377; (42 U.S.C. 300d–52). It raised the authorization levels for the TBI State Partnership Program and TBI P&A and officially designates ACL as the administering agency for both programs. Also, the new provision for partners at the Centers for Disease Control will allow them to implement and analyze concussion prevalence and incidence data, filling a longstanding data gap that will bolster all TBI programs.

See this page for information about the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2018.


Last modified on 07/16/2021


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