Can You Receive Disability Benefits For Epilepsy?

December 17th, 2020 Social Security Disability
Picture of a person holding a cutout of a brain scan

If you suffer from epileptic seizures and medication doesn’t prevent you from having frequent disruptive seizures, you may be eligible for Social Security disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Qualifying for Disability Benefits Due to Epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the many conditions listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. If you meet the Blue Book listing requirements for epilepsy, you may qualify for disability benefits. However, the listing for epilepsy has different requirements for convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy.

The Blue Book states that for convulsive seizures, you must provide proof that you experience: Seizures during the day that cause you to convulse or lose consciousness OR seizures at night that cause severe difficulties for you during the day. Additionally, you must also continue to have seizures at least once a month after you’ve been on a doctor prescribed anti-seizure medication(s) for at least three months.

If you have non-convulsive epilepsy, you must prove that you: Have seizures that occur during the day or night, and that causes you to experience pronounced issues after each seizure. This may include unusual behaviors, trouble thinking, difficulty staying awake, a lack of energy, or other post-seizure symptoms that interrupt daytime activities.

What You’ll Need to File for Disability Benefits

To file for SSI or SSD, you’ll need to provide as much medical evidence to the Social Security Administration to establish your claim as possible. This includes a doctor’s diagnosis, treatment plans, test results, and proof of the impact of the seizures on your life. After you apply for benefits, the claims examiner will request medical records from your treating physician. Records that the SSA will need from you include:

  • An official diagnosis of epilepsy
  • Test results of any neurological examinations
  • Doctor’s description of your symptoms, including the typical seizure you endure, including whether you experience loss of consciousness, convulsions, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Any records detailing pre-and post-seizure phenomena, such as fatigue, confusion, aura, headache and nausea.
  • Documentation of any injuries caused during your seizures.
  • Frequency of seizures and when they occur.
  • A statement regarding and objective evidence whether you cooperate with your prescribed anticonvulsant treatment.
  • A doctors description of your successes with anticonvulsant therapy or surgery.
  • Results of an EEG

My Claim For Benefits was Denied, What Now?

Social Security disability claims based on epilepsy can be difficult if proper medical treatment is not obtained, and medication dosages are not followed. Epilepsy claims require an expert understanding of the above evaluation process, as well as compelling medical evidence. If the medical evidence does not support the alleged severity, the claimant is often less than credible and denied.

We Can Help

At the Disability Attorneys of Michigan, our team of highly skilled attorneys, case managers and legal assistants will guide you through the complex Social Security disability system and give you peace of mind in the process.

Our firm has more than 80 years of combined experience in helping Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan residents in their Social Security Disability matters. Now let us help you with filing or appealing your claim for the SSD or SSI benefits you deserve. Contact the Disability Attorneys of Michigan today for a free, no-obligation case consultation at 800-701-5524.

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I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.