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.
What Are The Minimum Requirements To Receive Disability Benefits For Epilepsy
To have a chance of approval, the Social Security Administration requires an applicants medical condition:
- Prevent you from working full-time
- Be expected to continue, or have lasted, for at least one year
- Be life-threatening or severely disrupt your ability to function in your daily life
You must have also paid into social security taxes while working for at least five or the past 10 years. The SSA only approves epilepsy applicants who see a specialist regularly and continue to have seizures despite reliably taking medication.
How Va Rates Epilepsy And Seizure Conditions
VA rates epilepsy and seizure conditions according to 38 CFR § 4.124a, Schedule of Ratings Neurological Conditions and Convulsive Disorders. All epileptic and seizure disorders are rated according to the following criteria:
|1 in the past 2 years||2 in the past 6 months|
|10%||Requires constant medication to control seizures or there is a definite diagnosis of epilepsy with history of seizures||Requires constant medication to control seizures or there is a definite diagnosis of epilepsy with history of seizures|
A major seizure is classified as one that affects the entire brain. Typically, major seizures involve a loss of consciousness and uncontrollable shaking. Minor seizures, on the other hand, affect only portions of the brain. These seizures cause brief interruptions in conscious control with symptoms like mumbling, rocking, slight twitching of the muscles, or falling down.
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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.
Applying Specific Medical Tests To Your Case For Disability
There are several tests used to diagnose seizure disorders, including an EEG, CT scan, MRI, PET scan, and other neuropsychological tests. These tests should be included with your medical records that are supplied to the SSA when you apply for Social Security disability benefits.
The SSA may order a medical evaluation and/or mental evaluation with the physicians they choose at their expense. These evaluations are not for treatment purposes but to provide the additional information they need to help make a decision regarding your disability claim. These evaluations can confirm your symptoms and your limitations.
The disability process can take several months. Your claim may be denied twice and then you can appeal it each of those times. The final step would to be request a hearing before an administrative law judge for a ruling on your case.
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Qualifying For Epilepsy Under The Ssas Official Listing
The SSA sets out whats required to get disability benefits for epilepsy in disability listing 11.02. Note that, because it can take several months of taking medication to control seizures, especially if the medication needs to be adjusted, you must have taken your prescribed medication for at least three months before applying for disability benefits. In addition, if your doctor has told you to abstain from alcohol, and you havent, you wont be considered to have followed prescribed treatment for three months.
Listing 11.02 includes different requirements for two main categories of seizures.
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Application Denied You Must Act Now
For decades Edgar Snyder & Associates has helped thousands of people just like you get the SSD benefits they need to pay their bills and focus on their health.
If the SSA denied your application, or you want help applying, contact our law firm today. We win the majority of claims we appeal for our clients.
We can guide you through the complex Social Security disability system and give you peace of mind in the process. By choosing our experienced attorneys, you will know that you have done everything possible to be approved for SSD benefits.
Remember, if your application was denied, you have only 60 days to file an appeal.
Best of all, if we dont win your appeal, you wont owe us a penny. There really is never a fee unless we get money for you.
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How Drug And Alcohol Use Affects Disability For Seizures
Another factor that must be considered for disability involving seizures is whether there is evidence of drug addiction or alcoholism. For Social Security disability, if there is evidence of past drug or alcohol use, then the administrative law judge conducting the hearing may find that the drug or alcohol use is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability. If this is the case, then the judge has determined that the disabling limitations have resulted from drug or alcohol use and that any limitations not caused by drugs or alcohol are not severe enough to be disabling. For individuals who are afflicted with seizures and have a past history of drug or alcohol use, the judge will ultimately determine if the drugs and/or alcohol contributed to the seizures and if it did, then a claim for disability benefits might be unsuccessful.
Qualifying Under Blue Book Listing
The SSA has a list of specific requirements that you need to meet to get disability benefits for epilepsy. These are based on listing 11.02 for Convulsive and Nonconvulsive Epilepsy in the Blue Book. Youll need to qualify based on information about the frequency and type of seizures you suffer from.
Remember that there are also disability guidelines for children who have epilepsy, but these are a bit different.
Individuals who experience convulsive seizures will be required to show evidence of seizures that occur at least once every two months for four months or longer while taking medication. Limitations in one of the following are also required:
- Adapting or managing oneself
- Persisting, maintaining pace, or concentrating
Qualifying Under Medical-Vocational Guidelines
Even people who do not meet all the listings above may still qualify for benefits. This is the case if your epilepsy symptoms lead to interference in your activities to the point where you cannot consistently and safely perform work tasks. To determine whether this is the case, the claims examiner assigned to your case will analyze your symptoms and condition, as well as other factors. These include:
- Other psychiatric and medical conditions that affect the ability to work
- Transferable work skills
- Special doctors restrictions such as not being able to work around machinery or being unable to drive a vehicle.
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How To File A Successful Social Security Disability Claim For Epilepsy
It can be difficult to get compensation in any Social Security disability claim, but filing for benefits for epilepsy is even more problematic than usual.
In order to win your case, you have to meet the disability listing for a seizure disorder and prove the condition interferes with your daily activitiesincluding your ability to earn a living.
Qualifying For Epilepsy Under The Ssa’s Official Listing
The SSA sets out what’s required to get disability benefits for epilepsy in disability listing 11.02. Note that, because it can take several months of taking medication to control seizures, especially if the medication needs to be adjusted, you must have taken your prescribed medication for at least three months before applying for disability benefits. In addition, if your doctor has told you to abstain from alcohol, and you haven’t, you won’t be considered to have followed prescribed treatment for three months.
Listing 11.02 includes different requirements for two main categories of seizures.
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How To Apply For Disability Benefits For Epilepsy
Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the U.S. People of all ages can be affected by epilepsy, which can cause unpredictable seizures as well as other health problems. While it is definitely possible to live a normal life with this disorder, others have more severe and continuous symptoms that make working and living difficult.
Fortunately, for those in this position, disability benefits may be able to help. Social Security disability benefits are funded by the government and are designed to help people in need. Continue below to see how your epilepsy may qualify.
Can You Qualify For Disability Benefits Because Of Epilepsy
Adults with epilepsy may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration evaluates epilepsy according to the type, frequency, duration, and nature of the seizures. Because epilepsy isn’t necessarily disabling if it’s well-controlled, you will need to prove that your epilepsy interferes with your daily activities even though you’ve taken anticonvulsant medications as prescribed for at least three months. You’ll also need to show that any alcohol or drug use isn’t contributing to your medication’s lack of effectiveness.
When you file for benefits, a claims examiner, and sometimes a medical consultant, will be assigned to review the evidence and determine if you’re eligible for benefits. They will be looking for the following items in your records:
- a diagnosis of epilepsy
- a detailed description of your typical seizure, including all pre- and post-seizure symptoms
- a statement from your doctor corroborating your account of the nature and frequency of your seizures
- a description of your seizures from a third-party witness
- a record indicating the frequency of your past seizures
- results of an EEG, and
- a detailed treatment history, including medications and other treatments that you’ve tried and your response to them.
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How To Get Disability For Seizures
For some people who have been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, such as epilepsy, their lives may be negatively affected in a significant way. The symptoms someone with epilepsy experiences can range from staring spells to intense convulsions and loss of consciousness. So for those whose lives are dramatically affected by their seizure disorders may wonder, can you get disability for seizures?
What Benefits Am I Entitled To If I Have Epilepsy
The federal government offers financial assistance and health insurance to people with epilepsy who qualify. The two primary financial assistance programs are Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . These programs are administered by the Social Security Administration . via
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Generalized Seizures Involve All Areas Of The Brain There Are Several Types Of Generalized Seizures And Include:
- Absence seizures. This type of seizure typically appears in children and is characterized by episodes of staring off into space, eye blinking or lip smacking. Episodes are brief, lasting only 5 to 10 seconds, but may occur hundreds of times per day.
- Myoclonic seizures. These seizures cause arms and legs to twitch and jerk.
- Tonic-clonic seizures. These seizures, previously known as grand mal seizures, can last as long as 20 minutes. They can cause an abrupt loss of consciousness, body stiffening and shaking, and in some cases, loss of bladder control or biting the tongue.
How Do I Claim Dla
Download the claim form from the gov.uk website or call 0800 121 4600.
In Northern Ireland you can download a claim form, or contact the Disability and Carers Service or your local Jobs and Benefits office.
Cerebra is a charity for children with neurological problems, including epilepsy. They have a free step-by-step guide to filling in the DLA claim form. The guide also has information on what to do if you are unhappy with a DLA decision. You can download it from the Cerebra website, or request a copy by calling 0800 328 1159, or emailing
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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.
If Your Child Has Frequent Disruptive Seizures Despite Being On Medication And You Have Low Income Your Child Should Be Eligible For Ssi
By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder of the brain that causes repeated seizures, which are defined as episodes of electrical activity in the brain that cause convulsions, loss of consciousness, or changes in behavior. Epileptic seizures can be caused by cerebral palsy or brain trauma, tumor, or infections, but sometimes the cause is not known.
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.
Help From Social Services
Depending on what your epilepsy is like, you may be entitled to have a social care needs assessment. An assessment normally takes place in your home and looks at whether you have any physical or health difficulties, social or housing needs, and what support you already receive, for example from family or friends. If the assessment identifies that you have needs which meet the local authoritys criteria, then they have a duty to arrange relevant community care services for you. These services may include meals, home help, adaptations to the home such as installing a shower or personal alarm, and access to leisure activities. You may need to pay some of the costs.
Contact your local social services department to ask for a needs assessment.
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Epilepsy And Social Security Disability
This column will exam how the Social Security Administration evaluates Disability Insurance Claims for people who suffer from convulsive disorders such as epilepsy. The Social Security Administration has a set of criteria that it uses called Listings to determine whether a person is eligible for monthly disability insurance payments. To obtain disability insurance benefit payments from the SSA a person must in general have a health problem that can be expected to last at least one year or to result in death and be unable to perform any type of substantial gainful employment. To simplify the test, it is not enough that the disabled person cant go back and perform his former work for health reasons, the worker must also be unable to perform any type of full time work that exists in the American economy.
To see how the SSA reviews claims that involve persons who suffer from epilepsy it is helpful to take a brief look at the medical terms used in describing epilepsy. Epilepsy occurs when nerves in the brain react abnormally and send recurring abnormal signals to the body. There are two types of seizures that occur in persons who suffer from epilepsy.
A. Daytime episodes or
B. Nocturnal episodes with residuary effects which interfere significantly with activity during the day.
Further information on epilepsy can be obtained from the Epilepsy Foundation of North Carolina, 3001 Spring Forest Road, Raleigh, N.C. 27616.