How People Are Affected
The potential impact of functional seizures on the person and those close to them cannot be understated. Many are afraid to go out in case they have a seizure, and become increasingly isolated. Depending on the type of seizure, people can frequently be physically harmed.
All aspects of life can be affected with many losing their jobs, or for younger people unable to continue with education, as often establishments are unwilling to make reasonable adjustments as required by the Equality Act 2010. Sufferers are unable to drive for certain periods of time and may be wary of using public transport. Relationships can suffer with family members having to step in to the carers role. Lack of current understanding amongst the health sector, especially in emergency care, can lead to people being accused of faking, drug abuse or attention seeking. Seizures can look bizarre in some cases given the persons brain/nervous system is sending/receiving incorrect signals to different parts of the body.
It has been suggested at times that seizures can be self-controlled, which is 100% not true and a grave misinterpretation commonly made by emergency services as a person can in no way engage with how the body is reacting. In some settings a persons anxiety may be heightened with strangers round them, especially if they are being treated poorly. Given this could cause a nervous system response, which may be that persons trigger, it should NEVER be perceived as a performance.
Can You Get Disability For Non
When people think of seizures, they always assume that the afflicted person has epilepsy and is experiencing an epileptic seizure. But there are several different kinds of seizure disorders that are non-epileptic, meaning they are not caused by epilepsy. These non-epileptic seizures can disrupt peoples lives and sometimes prevent those who have non-epileptic seizures from being able to hold down a job.
So is it possible to receive disability for non-epileptic seizures? If the non-epileptic seizures prevent the person from performing the functions of their job, they may be able to receive disability benefits. We will also cover the different types of non-epileptic seizures and the different types of benefits that may be available to those who suffer from non-epileptic seizures such as long-term disability benefits and Social Security Disability benefits.
The Truth About Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures
- PNES are attacks that may look like epileptic seizures but are not epileptic and instead are cause by psychological factors.
- Sometimes a specific traumatic event can be identified.
- PNES are sometimes referred to as psychogenic events, psychological events, or nonepileptic seizures .
- The only reliable test to positively make the diagnosis of PNES is video EEG monitoring.
- Treatment with cognitive behavior therapy and serotonin re-uptake inhibitors has been shown to be effective.
- More research is needed to find additional ways to treat PNES.
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What Is The Prognosis In Pnes
The improvement a person has once a diagnosis of PNES is made and treatment is started can vary. It is important to note
- Between 20 and 50% of people stop having PNES once the diagnosis is reached and without any specific treatment.
- People receiving psychological treatments can work with their mental health provider to monitor if there has been improvement in the frequency, duration or intensity of PNES symptoms. Keeping track of progress will help you understand if therapy is helping.
- Research looking at how people respond to psychotherapy treatment for PNES has shown that about half of people will see an improvement in their PNES after 3 months of psychological therapy.
- Ongoing research continues to study new therapies for people who do not improve with currently available treatment options.
- Some variables that may predict a higher chance PNES will stop after diagnosis include
- PNES in children in adolescence
- A person only having a brief history of PNES
- A person having a psychiatric disorder that is considered to have minimal or mild symptoms. People with severe symptoms face greater challenges.
Psychiatric Formulation: Epidemiological Consideration Comorbidity And Risk Factors For Ds
Psychiatric assessment should aim to identify putative risk factors for DS that may help the patient understand why they have the disorder and may direct psychological and other approaches to treatment. What follows is an account of the demographic characteristics of DS and possible predisposing and maintaining factors identified in the literature.
About three quarters of patients are women. Seizures usually begin in the late teens or early 20s but there is a wide range. Patients in lower socioeconomic groups and with less educational achievement are probably over-represented, although not in comparison with patients with epilepsy.
The prevalence of abnormal personality in these patients suggests adverse experiences occurring in childhood or adolescence at a time when personality attributes are developing, and the risk factor to have attracted most attention in the literature is a history of childhood abusive experiences. Although there have been negative findings, a number of large studies in which abuse has been carefully defined have shown higher rates of reported abuse in patients with DS compared with epileptic controls and unselected psychiatric patients. Traumatic, abusive experiences in adulthood have also been implicated. Other traumatic experiences or situations that foster low self esteem, for example bullying at school or unrecognised learning difficulties, may be over-represented but have not been studied in adults with DS.
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Nes That Have An Organic Cause
These seizures have a physical cause . They include fainting and seizures with metabolic causes such as diabetes.
Because organic NES have a physical cause, they may be relatively easy to diagnose and the underlying cause can be found. For example, a faint may be diagnosed as being caused by a physical problem in the heart. In these cases, if the underlying cause can be treated the seizures will stop.
Epilepsy And Long Term Disability
Whether your insurance company will consider your epilepsy a disability will depend on a few factors. They will want to understand the symptoms you experience due to your epilepsy, both physical and cognitive. To get approved for long term disability, your symptoms must prevent with enough severity and frequency to prevent you from working in your occupation. This means not only must your claim include all of your symptoms it should also describe the demands of your occupation.
An epilepsy diagnosis alone will not be enough for your insurance company. After all, some people with milder forms of epilepsy, such as Idiopathic Generalized, are able to function without issue. However, other typessuch as the most commonly diagnosed form, Symptomatic Partialcan make it difficult to perform daily activities, including work.
In order to receive disability benefits for your epilepsy, your insurance company will need a full accounting of your symptoms and the ways they prevent you from working.
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Contacting A Social Security Attorney
Applying for disability can sometimes be overwhelming. If you feel that you may qualify for disability benefits, consider consulting a disability advocate or attorney. They can help with filling out applications, keeping paperwork organized, and aiding you in the appeals process if necessary. It is also required by law that disability attorneys will not receive payment unless you win your case.
To give yourself the best chance at receiving benefits for your epilepsy, consider speaking with a disability attorney today.
What Are The Symptoms
Although dissociative seizures start as an emotional reaction, they cause a physical effect. Features of the seizure can include palpitations , sweating, a dry mouth, and hyperventilation .
Some features of dissociative seizures are very similar to epileptic seizures. These physical features may include loss of awareness, loss of sensation, and loss of control of bodily movement.
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Service Connection For Epilepsy And Seizure Conditions
To receive VA disability compensation for epilepsy and seizure conditions, a doctor must have witnessed the veteran have a seizure and performed neurological testing. If a doctor has not seen a seizure, the veteran cannot be service connected for epilepsy. Furthermore, it is important for the doctor to document the frequency and severity of the veterans seizures. After a diagnosis is made, the veteran must show evidence of an in-service event and provide a medical nexus linking their diagnosis to the in-service event.
Reasons Why An Insurance Company Would Deny Claims For Non
Many disability insurance policies have limitations that only pay for 12 months during your lifetime if your disability is caused by a mental illness. Some policies pay 24 or 36 months. Other policies dont cover mental illness at all. The insurance company will attempt to lump all the non-epileptic seizure disorders under the broad umbrella of mental disorders so they can get out of paying benefits.
The language used in the private insurance policy makes a big difference in whether or not you will be able to collect benefits. This is why it is vitally important to have the Ortiz Law Firm analyze the policy to find out exactly what it is trying to say. The wording of the policy can be quite tricky.
Besides examining the wording of your disability insurance policy, your attorney will have to carefully examine the case law surrounding non-epileptic seizures. The attorney will have to find out if they have typically been considered mental conditions or not in previous rulings.
Private insurance companies are notorious for denying disability claims. They will deny your claim if you missed the deadline for filing. They will also deny your claim if any detail is missing from your paperwork or if you do not submit all of your medical records.
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Trauma Seizures: Pnes And Disability Invisibility
When most people hear the word seizure, they immediately think of epilepsy, the most commonly known form of seizure activity to the common person on the street and the medical professional in the hospital. There are multiple types of seizures that are non-epileptic in nature, and I happen to have the less distinguished kind known as Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures or PNES. But as science and medicine are quickly finding out, PNES is far more common in women with traumatic pasts than many would have believed.
Its estimated that 70% of people with PNES are young women. However, the seizures do surface in older women as well as men, and are often linked with trauma. One recent study of U.S. veterans found that those with PNES were more likely than those with epilepsy to have a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. International League Against Epilepsy
Uncontrolled Epilepsy May Qualify For Social Security Disability
If you cannot work due to frequent seizures, you may be able to get Social Security disability. However, you will have to prove to the Social Security Administration that your condition prevents you from earning a living.
On your disability application, you should provide the following medical evidence:
- Overview of condition. You should describe the daily complications of your illness, as well as the type, frequency, and duration of your seizures.
- Seizure summary. The SSA will need a detailed description of a typical seizure. You should note any effects that precede the episode, including presence or absence of aura, and your injuries and experiences afterwards, including tongue bites, loss of bodily control, and head or neck injuries. It will also help your claim to provide a third partys description of what happens to you during one of your seizures.
- Physician observations. In addition to a detailed diagnosis, your physician should provide his own observations and prognosis of your condition. Your doctors opinion should be consistent with your own description of symptoms and complications.
- Treatment response. You should list the medications you are taking to control your seizures, as well as how well you are responding to treatment, and any side effects you experience. Blood test results may be useful in proving that you are following the prescribed dosage of anti-epileptic medication. Non-compliance with treatment is the number one reason for denial of claims.
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Do Seizures Qualify You For Social Security Disability
Some of the people whose lives are affected by epilepsy are able to control their symptoms with medication, but for others their uncontrolled seizures affect all parts of their lives and in severe cases make it impossible for them to hold a job.
If you cannot work due to frequent seizures, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Proving seizures to satisfy Social Security requirements can be difficult, but dont let that stop you. You may be eligible for benefits if the symptoms of your epilepsy interfere with your activities to such an extent that there are no jobs that you can always perform safely. In evaluating your application for disability benefits the Social Security Administration will consider many factors, including: your age your transferable work skills any other medical/psychiatric conditions that affect your ability to work, and any restrictions that your doctor has given you, such as no driving, no working around machinery, and so on.
What you will have to prove to Social Security is that your condition prevents you from performing any job. Showing that you are unable to do your previous job is not enough to be awarded benefits. On your disability application, you will need to provide solid medical evidence of your condition. It is important to show Social Security that your seizures continue despite taking your medication as prescribed.
Social Security Disability Eligibility For Epilepsy Patients
The Social Security Administration has a specific set of criteria it uses to determine whether a person is eligible for SSD benefits. To be considered disabled, your medical condition must:
- Prevent you from working full-time
- Have lasted, or is expected to last, for at least one year
- Be life-threatening
There are over 40 different types of epilepsy, each with its own triggers and medical complications. While each case is evaluated individually, the Social Security Administration looks for people with epilepsy who:
- Have epileptic episodes within a certain period of time
- Continue to have episodes even though they take their medication correctly and see a specialist regularly
Please note the Social Security Administration will review your medical records to determine the severity of your epilepsy and if it qualifies you for SSD benefits. If you havent worked long enough, or recently enough, to have paid enough into the Social Security system, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits instead.
The Semiology Of Dissociative Seizures
A careful history will usually provide sufficient grounds for suspecting DS, which is by far the commonest psychiatric imitator of epilepsy. Since the introduction of video electroencephalographic monitoring 30 years ago countless studies have compared DS with epilepsy aiming to find clinical features that distinguish one condition from the other. Unfortunately, no one symptom or sign allows the diagnosis to be made with absolute certainty. Some of the more useful clinical features, together with important red herrings, are listed in table 1.
Some clinical semiological features of epileptic and dissociative seizures
Checklist of examination procedures that may help differentiate dissociative seizures from epileptic seizures
After careful clinical assessment the experienced clinician may often be in a position to reach a confident diagnosis. Sometimes, however, doubt remains, even if a seizure is witnessed: in one study an experienced epileptologist viewing videotapes of seizures correctly identified only 73% of DS and 71% of ES. Special investigations therefore have an important role in diagnosis but there are pitfalls and limitations that will be considered next.
What Causes Dissociative Seizures
We all react to frightening or stressful situations differently. When we are frightened we might feel physical symptoms such as a racing heartbeat or a sweaty feeling. When we feel sad, we might cry. So how we feel emotionally can sometimes cause a physical reaction.
An extremely frightening or upsetting experience may be so emotionally difficult for some people to think about that they cannot consciously cope with how this makes them feel.
In some cases, we will unconsciously hide or ‘repress’ the memory of these experiences. These memories may always remain hidden and we may never remember the events that have happened.
For some people, the memories of these painful past events can suddenly come up or ‘intrude’ into their thoughts or awareness. This might happen during an emotional or stressful situation or when there is something in the environment that unconsciously triggers a distressing memory.
Dissociative seizures can happen as a cut-off mechanism to prevent bad memories being relived. The person splits off from their feelings about the experience because it is too difficult to cope with. The seizure happens because their emotional reaction causes a physical effect.
These seizures are an unconscious reaction so they are not deliberate and the person has no control over them.
- major accidents
- severe emotional upset
- psychological stress
- difficult relationships
- physical or sexual abuse
- being bullied.
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Vas New Particulate Matter Presumption For Respiratory Conditions
VA recently announced that as of August 2, 2021, it will begin processing disability claims for asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis on a presumptive basis based on presumed particulate matter exposures. Veterans will only be eligible for this presumption if they meet certain criteria, including service in Southwest Asia and other specified areas and manifestation of asthma, rhinitis, or sinusitis within 10 years of a qualifying period of military service. Many veterans exposed to burn pits during their service and developed one of these three conditions may be able to seek service connection under this new presumption.
Specifically, the presumption impacts veterans who served in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, or Djibouti between September 19, 2001 and the present day. It also encompasses veterans who served between August 2, 1990 and the present in the Southwest Asia theater of operations. The Southwest Asia theater of operations refers to the following areas: