March 22, 2010

Social Security Disability Benefits for Epilepsy

Indianapolis Social Security disability claimants filing a disability claim based on seizure disorder (or epilepsy) often wonder how the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates this disorder in order to qualify for  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. 

To qualify for disability benefits based on this neurological condition, the following two requirements must be met:

  1. A claimant must have a specified number of attacks, or episodes, occurring within a specified period of time; and
  2. The episodes must occur even with a claimant’s full compliance with prescribed medications. 

Pills 3.JPGSimply stated,the disability claimant must demonstrate proof of a seizure disorder diagnonis or epilepsy diagnosis and must also indicate that anti-seizure medication has been prescribed, is being taken as directed, and that attacks continue to occur regardless of medications being taken.

At what frequency must these attacks take place in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

According to the SSA, it depends on the type of epilepsy, or seizure disorder, that a disability claimant has. There are two types of seizure disorders that are addressed.  These seizures include convulsive epilespy and non-convulsive epilepsy.

If a claimant’s particular form of seizure disorder is classified as “convulsive epilepsy” (grand mal seizures), such seizures must occur more frequently than once per month, in spite of at least 3 months of prescribed treatment. If these convulsive seizures occur during the day, these seizures must also involve loss of consciousness and convulsions.  If they occur at night, they must have the effect of interfering with the individual’s activities on the following day.

If a claimant’s seizure disorder is classified as “non-convulsive epilepsy” (petit mal seizures or focal seizures), such seizures must occur more frequently than once per week, in spite of at least 3 months of prescribed treatment. Additionally, non-convulsive seizures must involve either loss of consciousness, alteration of awareness (for example, confusion or disorientation), or have the effect of interfering with the individual’s activities during the day.

If you or someone you know meets the SSA’s requirements for epilepsy, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.  Epilepsy can also be considered as a disabiling condition when combined with other disabilities such as mental disorders, diabetes, obesity, and back problems just to name a few.  Indiana Social Security Disability Attorney Scott D. Lewis represents claimants that have been denied Social Security disability benefits.  If you would like a free consultation regarding your Social Security disability claim, call (317) 423-8888. 

Filed under:Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments
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