Is Epilepsy Classed As A Disability
You are likely to be considered disabled under the Equality Act if:
- Your epilepsy has a substantial and long-term negative effect on your ability to do day-to-day activities or
- It’s not having a substantial effect now, but it would do if you were not having treatment or
- It’s not having a substantial effect now, but is likely to in the future
Day-to-day activities include things like driving, cooking and using various forms of transport. Long-term means you must have been, or expect to be, affected for at least 12 months.
The Equality Act is also likely to protect you from discrimination if you’ve had epilepsy in the past.
If you are classed as disabled under the Equality Act, this doesn’t always mean you will qualify for benefits or services for disabled people. These usually have their own eligibility criteria which you would need to meet.
Are Requirements To Receive Ssdi/ssi Because Of Seizures
The SSA has strict guidelines in place for applicants to qualify for SSDI or SSI. Generally, a condition must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death, and prevent one from working. The SSAs Listing of Impairments includes requirements that apply specifically to epilepsy. Seizure recurrence is one of the primary qualifying factors for Social Security Disability with epilepsy. You may qualify if:
- Youve experienced grand mal seizures at least once a month for at least three consecutive months.
- Youve experienced dyscognitive seizures at least once a week for at least three consecutive months.
- Youve experienced grand mal seizures at least once every two months for at least four consecutive months, and you have a marked limitation of at least one of certain abilities*.
- Youve experienced dyscognitive seizures at least once every two weeks for at least three consecutive months, and you have a marked limitation of at least one of certain abilities*.
*These abilities may include physical functioning, interacting with others, remembering, applying information, concentrating, persisting, adapting or managing yourself, or understanding information.
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.
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Inability To Work Due To Epilepsy
Your insurance company may not fully understand the impact your epilepsy has on your job performance. Never assume they will connect the dots on their own. You must explain it.
Think of how your condition prevents you from working in specific ways. With epilepsy, seizures can come at any time for example, in the middle of an important business presentation or during a telephone call with a new client. Uncontrollable jerking of the limbs might make it impossible to perform your job duties, whether its typing on a computer, handling tools, or interpersonal meetings. Extreme fatigue and headaches might cause you to frequently use sick days.
Your epilepsy may be exacerbated by your work environment. Stress can trigger epileptic seizures, so a demanding job may worsen your condition significantly. Sleep deprivation is another very common trigger – if you work long hours that require late nights and early mornings, it could be very detrimental to your health and cause you to experience more seizures than you would otherwise.
Your epilepsy may also directly cause you to experience severe emotional problems, such as depression or anxiety, that leave you unable to perform your job as needed.
Epilepsy And Learning Disabilities
Statistically, children with epilepsy are more likely to have learning disabilities than other kids, according to Turk. But that doesnt mean that children with epilepsy are underachievers. Plenty of children with epilepsy are straight-A students. If your child is having problems in school, talk to your doctor about possible reasons. Among them:
- Sometimes, learning disabilities are directly related to the epilepsy. Whatever is causing seizures in the brain may also affect your childs ability to learn.
- Also, epilepsy medicines might cause side effects that can impair a childs ability to concentrate.
- Your child could have an unrelated learning disability, like any other child.
- Lastly, depression may be a serious and unrecognized issue for children with epilepsy. Depression is definitely a problem for young adults with epilepsy, and I think for kids, too, Turk says. Kids with depression may have low energy, a limited attention span, and bad grades. Parents should not assume these symptoms are normal for children with epilepsy. Turk says that parents who notice their child is having problems in school should step in quickly. Dont stick your head in the sand, he says. You need to get it checked out. The learning disability may have little to do with the epilepsy itself. It may be something that can be corrected easily.
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Va Disability Ratings According To Schedular
|12 or more in the past year||N/A|
|4-11 in the past year||11 or more per week||80%|
|3 in the past year||9-10 per week|
|2 in the past year||5-8 per week|
|1 in the past 2 years||2 in the past 6 months||20%|
|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||10%|
A major seizure is a seizure that affects the entire brain. Usually, major seizures involve loss of consciousness and uncontrollable shaking. Minor seizures affect a portion of the brain, and usually involve brief interruptions of consciousness with symptoms such as mumbling, rocking, slight twitching of the muscles, and/or falling down. If you have a seizure disorder that involves both major and minor seizures, you should use the rating criteria that would give the highest rating. For example, if you suffered 3 major seizures in the past year and had 2 minor seizures in the past 6 months then you would be entitled to a 60% rating. Even though the minor seizures only meet the rating criteria for 20%, the major seizures meet the criteria for a 60% rating, and the veteran is entitled to the higher of the ratings.
If Your Seizure Disorder Doesnt Meet The Criteria Of Social Securitys Listing You May Still Be Eligible For A Medical
Social Security will consider your medical condition, symptoms, age, level of education, work skills and any restrictions prescribed by your doctor, such as no driving or working near machinery. If you are older than 55 with few transferable work skills and less education, your chances for being approved are greater.
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At Shelforce You Can Achieve Anything
Thoroughly focused on what employees can offer rather than what they cant, our main mission at Shelforce is to challenge and transform perceptions of disability. Concentrating on the person rather than their disability, if this aligns with your own values, find out more about who we are or contact us for further information.
Focal And Generalized Seizures Have Different Causes So Its Important To Have An Accurate Diagnosis In Order To Prescribe Treatment
A doctor will perform a neurological exam and test a patients motor skills and mental functioning. They will also order blood tests or spinal taps to look for infection, an EEG to monitor electrical activity in the brain, and imaging to look for problems in the brain. Treatment involves medications to reduce excess electrical activity in the brain, nerve stimulation and changes in diet. A diet high in fat and low in protein and carbohydrates sometimes changes the bodys chemistry and decreases the frequency of seizures. In some cases, surgery is advised to remove a portion of the brain to stop seizures.
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What Is A Disability
Someone has a disability if they have:
a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities
Equality Act 2010
Here, substantial means it is difficult and time-consuming to do activities compared to someone without a disability, and long-term means at least 12 months. Day-to-day activities include being able to get around, hear, see, remember and concentrate.
Epilepsy is a physical, long-term condition and people with epilepsy are protected under the Equality Act, even if their seizures are controlled or if they dont consider themselves to be disabled.
Does A Child With Epilepsy Meet The Definition Of Disabled
The SSA has identified some medical conditions that are severe enough to usually warrant an approval of benefits these conditions are spelled out in impairment listings. Epilepsy is one of the listed impairments that may entitle your child to an automatic approval of benefits. The listing, 111.02, was changed significantly in 2016.
To meet the listing today, you will need to show that your child suffers from:
- generalized tonic-clonic seizures that occur at least once a month for three consecutive months, or
- dyscognitive seizures that occur at least once a week for three consecutive months.
It may be helpful to talk to your childs neurologist to see if her epilepsy meets the listing requirements. You can visit the SSAs website for more information about the childhood epilepsy listing.
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Seizure Disorder And Your Ability To Perform Sedentary Work
While sedentary work is often safer for those with seizure disorder than physical work, it isnt always possible for someone who suffers from seizures to continue working in any environment. Sedentary jobs often involve stressful situations that may trigger seizures in some people with seizure disorder.
Make sure in keeping track of your seizures that you note the situation which preceded it, including whether any stress or other mental or environmental factors may have been involved. If you have trouble concentrating on activities the next day due to seizures which occur at night, make sure to notate this as well. Always make sure your doctors reports corroborate your statements on your Social Security Disability claim.
Usually, Social Security Disability cases involving seizure disorders are fairly clear cut. Either you have seizures frequently enough to merit Social Security Disability benefits, or you dont. However, there are cases where there is some grey area, or in which you should be approved but arent because of the way something is phrased on your Social Security Disability claim.
Many Social Security Disability claims that are initially denied can be won during the appeals process. You will want to strongly consider contracting a Social Security Disability lawyer to help you with the appeals process, as your chance of success with a Social Security Disability claim improves markedly if you have experienced representation.
Types Of Cerebral Palsy
There are two main types of cerebral palsy: pyramidal and extrapyramidal. The pyramidal and extrapyramidal systems are the two principal systems of the brain and spinal cord that control movement. The pyramidal system is primarily concerned with strength and control of fine movements of the arms and legs, especially the hands and feet. The extrapyramidal system is primarily concerned with more basic aspects of movement and exerts greater control over muscles of the body, shoulders, and hips, although it also controls muscles in the arms and legs. Many children with cerebral palsy and epilepsy have overlapping features of these two types. Children with either type of cerebral palsy may have ataxia, tremor, or other impairments such as mental handicap.
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When Can I Get Disability Benefits For Epilepsy
Adults who suffer from some form of epilepsy may be eligible for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income . The disability benefits that you apply for will be based on whether or not youve ever worked and paid into the Social Security system.
In Social Securitys disability listingcommonly called the Blue Bookthere are two different epilepsy conditions that can be eligible for benefits.
The first qualifying type of disability is tonic-clonic seizures. If you experience tonic-clonic seizure, you will need to suffer a seizure at least one time every four months and the seizure must affect either your motor functioning, your cognitive abilities or your ability to interact with other people.
The other qualifying seizure condition is known as dyscognitive seizures. With dyscognitive seizures, you will need to suffer an episode at least once every other week for a period that must be at least three months. To qualify for benefits, your dyscognitive seizures need to negatively affect your ability to understand and communicate, your emotional control, your concentration and your ability to perform physical activities.
Weve Served Pennsylvania For Nearly 100 Years
If you suffer from epilepsy and have recurring seizures, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income . Epilepsy is a serious condition that can have a dramatic impact on every area of your life, including your ability to work and make a living.
AtHandler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we have served clients across Pennsylvania for nearly 100 years.Applying for SSDI and SSI is not simple, but with the right support and counsel, you can pursue the benefits that are rightfully yours. OurSocial Security Disability lawyers know how to deal with the Social Security Administration and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination . We can help you properly prepare and file your application, along withmedical evidence and documentation, to seek approval. If your claim was already denied, we can help with anappeal. We can even help you pursuebackpay for past-due benefits.
No matter your needs, you can count on our experience and knowledge to guide you through.Call orcontact us online for epilepsy SSDI and SSI help in Pennsylvania!
Can Aeds Cause Side Effects Or Changes In Behaviour
As with all medications, drugs for epilepsy can cause side effects for some people. People with a learning disability may be more likely to have side effects, because their brain has areas of damage that are more vulnerable to side effects.
Side effects can include feeling drowsy or sick, having problems with vision or changes in behaviour. Some people have poor attention, feel restless, or have slow or unsteady movement. A persons mood can also be affected by AEDs in some cases.
Side effects can be difficult to tell apart from behaviour related to a learning disability. Also, if someone is not able to express what they are feeling, they may be withdrawn, or show aggression or other challenging behaviour. This could be mistaken for a side effect of their AEDs.
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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Can You Get Disability For Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder defined by unprovoked seizures that result from disruptive brain activity. The unique condition primarily affects children, or seniors in the 60+ age demographic, though it can be diagnosed at any age.
There are three main types of epilepsy: symptomatic epilepsy, cryptogenic epilepsy, and idiopathic epilepsy. Symptomatic epilepsy refers to disruption in brain activity cryptogenic epilepsytraces brain damage to learning disabilities and idiopathic epilepsy refers to epilepsy in which the cause cannot be found, but symptoms remain consistent.
The causes of epilepsy ranges from birth defects, stroke and head injury, to alcohol or drug abuse.Keep in mind there are numerous causes of seizures, so its important to have the condition, or any potential epilepsy symptoms, correctly diagnosed.
Epilepsy symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. Typically, a person with epilepsy will have the same type of seizure each time, so their symptoms will be similar. Here are the most common seizure symptoms to watch for: Temporary confusion Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs Loss of consciousness or awareness Psychic symptoms
Epilepsy treatment can come in the form of anti-epileptic drugs, though theyve been known to incur side effects such as poor concentration, mood swings, unsteadiness, and nausea. But, the pros of controlling spontaneous seizures often outweigh these potential cons.