Can I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits if I have Epilepsy?
More than 3 million adults have been diagnosed with epilepsy. Epilepsy causes seizures that can make it difficult for someone to work a full time job. Seizures sometimes can be controlled with medication, but not always and the cost of that medication can be expensive. Even when on medication, people can still experience seizures that leave them worn out and unable to function for the rest of the day or sometimes longer. If you have been diagnosed with epilepsy and can’t work and you expect to be unable to work for at least a 12 month period, you may be able to file a claim for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security disability benefits may help for things like housing, bills, food, and other expenses.
Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits Due to Epilepsy
Epilepsy is one of the conditions listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. This means that if you meet the requirements in the Blue Book listing for epilepsy you may be able to get social security disability benefits. The listing for epilepsy is very specific and there are different requirements for convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy. The Blue Book states that for convulsive seizures you must provide proof that you experience:
Daytime seizures that cause you to convulse or lose consciousness
Nighttime seizures that cause severe complications for you during the day, like problems staying awake, thinking clearly, or coordinating your physical movements.
In addition, you must also show that you have seizures at least once a month after you’ve been on anti-seizure medication(s) for at least three months.
On the other end, in order to qualify with non-convulsive epilepsy, you must provide proof that you have:
Seizures that occur during the day or night
Seizures that cause you to experience pronounced issues after each seizure, which may include things like unusual behaviors, trouble thinking, a lack of energy, difficulty staying awake, or other post-seizure symptoms that interrupt daytime activities.
Medical evidence is key key key! You will need to provide as much medical documentation as possible to support your claim including your doctor’s diagnosis, continuous and frequent office visits treatment plans, test results, and proof of the impact of the seizures on your daily functioning.
Medical Vocational Allowance
If you have epilepsy that makes it difficult for you to work but doesn’t quite meet the strict criteria listed in the Blue book you may be able to qualify for benefits under whats called a medical vocational allowance AKA GRID rules. To qualify you will need to show that your seizures or the aftermath of your seizures are so severe that they make it extremely difficult or impossible for you to work with the skills that you have acquired. When you fill out your claim for benefits you can request a Residual Functional Capacity Evaluation. This evaluation is done by the SSA to see if there’s any kind of work that you can still potentially do. If SSA determines that there is no type of work that you can do because of your epilepsy you can be approved for benefits even though you don’t meet the Blue Book requirements.
Applying for Social Security Benefits
The best way to apply for Social Security disability benefits is speak with an experienced attorney. it’s an absolutely free consultation. Bring copies of all of your medical records and other documentation with your appointment with the attorney. We can help get the process started for you.