We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

Disability for Epilepsy

Is Epilepsy a Disability?

Yes, epilepsy is considered a disability. It is one of the many conditions that the Social Security Administration (SSA) lists in their Blue Book list of impairments in section 11.00 under neurological disorders. People with epilepsy are safeguarded under the Equality Act whether their seizures are controlled or they do not consider themselves disabled.

Epilepsy causes seizures, which may lead to difficulty with working and performing other activities of normal living. It often becomes difficult for a person with epilepsy to focus on their work because of the condition.

Seizures can limit the number of tasks an individual can perform or the environments in which they can be employed. In serious cases, surgery may be the only option to decrease the number of seizures. 

Adults diagnosed with this condition can seek disability for epilepsy when the condition is limiting their ability to maintain gainful employment. Epilepsy can lead to meningitis, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and bleeding in the brain which can lead to strokes, brain tumors, and head injuries.

Fundamental Types of Epileptic Seizures

The Social Security Administration (SSA) identifies two types of epileptic seizures that can be medically disabling. 

  • Generalized Tonic-Clonic (Grand Mal) Seizures: In this type, stiffening of muscles takes place followed by groans. Groans occur as air is forced through the vocal cords. In extreme cases, people lose consciousness and their legs and arms start to jerk.
  • Dyscognitive Seizures: These types of seizures are characterized by impaired consciousness and awareness. People that experience this may stare continuously and not respond to any questions. Further, their behavior can change abruptly.

The SSA considers epilepsy disabling if you suffer from dyscognitive seizures once or more per week, or from tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures once or more per month.

Can You Get Disability For Epilepsy?

Adults with epilepsy may apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if they have worked and paid taxes for a specified time. They can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if they have low income. For either program, epileptic seizures must happen on a fairly frequent basis as previously mentioned.

Disability for EpilepsyIs Epilepsy a Disability?Epilepsy is a chronic health condition that can adversely affect an individual’s physical and mental health. An individual diagnosed with this condition may experience recurrent seizures that affect their overall quality of life. For example, seizures can make a person feel ill for several hours. 

The treatment of epilepsy disability entirely depends on the severity of the condition. For some, it can be treated with certain antiseizure medications available by prescription. However, sometimes medication doesn’t work. 

To be eligible for disability, you must experience serious and uncontrolled epilepsy despite taking medication as suggested by your doctor. The medical records you submit must match the type of epilepsy that you are experiencing.

Do You Qualify for Disability For Epilepsy?

According to the SSA, you must be diagnosed with epilepsy to qualify for benefits. In addition, you must be unable to perform work for an extended time. If you can prove these two points, you will increase your chances of getting disability payment.

Per the SSA Blue Book, conditions become debilitating when they prevent a person from working. The Blue Book outlines the medical criteria for determining whether an applicant can receive Epilepsy disability benefits. To meet this eligibility, your condition must meet the criteria described by the listing. It must have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 months, or result in death. 

According to the Blue Book Listing 11.02, you must have documented evidence of seizures that are characterized by one of the following, despite adherence to prescribed treatments:

  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures occurring at least once a month for at least 3 consecutive months; or
  • Dyscognitive seizures occurring at least once a week for at least 3 consecutive months; or
  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures occurring at least once every 2 months for at least 4 consecutive months and a marked limitation in one of the following:
    • Physical functioning; or
    • Understanding, remembering, or using information; or
    • Interacting with others; or
    • Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
    • Adapting or managing oneself; or
  • Dyscognitive seizures occurring at least once every 2 weeks for at least 3 consecutive months and a marked limitation in one of the areas noted (e.g. physical functioning, etc.)

You will have to provide relevant medical documentation and other evidence showing that your epilepsy interferes with your ability to work and function.

Can You Get Disability For Epilepsy if You Do Not Meet the Blue Book Criteria?

Not everyone with debilitating seizures will meet the criteria noted above, even if their condition prevents them from working. If you do not meet the medical criteria noted in the Blue Book, you may still establish entitlement to benefits through medical-vocational guidelines.

Under this criteria, the SSA will consider your residual functional capacity (RFC) to alternatively determine SSDI or SSI for epilepsy eligibility. Your doctor must complete the appropriate RFC form to determine the extent of any physical limitations. Any symptoms that have a severe impact should be noted on the form.

In addition to symptoms, the examiner will analyze the following factors:

  • Age
  • Level of education
  • Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
  • Transferable work skills
  • Past job experience
  • Any physical and mental health issues that affect your ability to work

The form should also list any restrictions noted by your doctor. The fewer vocational skills you possess and the less educated you are, the greater the chances you have of being approved to receive SSDI benefits. 

There are separate rules for Disability Over 50. So, if you are over the age of 50 years old and want to seek epilepsy disability, you should file a claim.

Evidence Required for Disability Benefits for Epilepsy

No matter what condition you are experiencing, you will have to submit a complete record of medical documentation and evidence with your application to be approved for an epilepsy disability claim. If you do not have complete records and evidence, your application is likely to be denied. 

Here are some examples of documents that you should submit with your application:

  • Medical records showing a diagnosis of the condition
  • A detailed description of the seizures
  • Witness statements from family and friends that describe the seizures
  • Detailed notes from your doctor describing the seizures
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) results
  • Documents and details of your treatment history
  • Evidence showing the frequency of the seizures

When applying, you should focus on collecting all relevant evidence that demonstrates the extent of your disability or disabilities.

How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For Benefits?

Before you submit your application, you should ensure that you have all the documents the SSA will need to make its determination. The SSA may reject your application for incomplete evidence. 

The disability process can be lengthy. Your Social Security office can take anywhere from three to six months to decide on your application. You can contact Disability lawyers to help you with the process.

If your application is denied, you may consider filing an appeal. Some cases even reach the trial and hearing stage. You should be aware that a hearing will be held before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the nearest Social Security office.

Obtain representation from a legal professional to help prepare for a hearing before an ALJ. Our legal team can stand by your side at every step of the process.

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