It can be difficult to get compensation in any Social Security disability claim, but filing for benefits for epilepsy is even more problematic than usual.
In order to win your case, you have to meet the disability listing for a seizure disorder and prove the condition interferes with your daily activities—including your ability to earn a living.
How to Build a Strong Disability Claim After an Epilepsy Diagnosis
The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows patients to collect disability for a seizure disorder, but not all patients will qualify for benefits. In particular, the SSA won't compensate patients for a single seizure; only individuals who experience multiple recurrent seizures will be eligible for epilepsy disability.
While it can be difficult to prove the extent of your condition, patients can build a strong disability case through:
- Medical proof. A doctor must perform comprehensive testing to diagnose epilepsy and rule out other conditions. Most patients undergo a series of electroencephalograms (EEG) to determine whether there's abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Individuals may even be asked to wear an EEG device for several days to record 24-hour brain activity that will be examined by the doctor. Patients may also undergo digital scans of the head to find the cause and location of abnormality in the brain that is causing the seizures.
- Symptoms. Since symptoms of epilepsy vary widely depending on the patient, claimants are advised to keep a diary detailing their experiences after a seizure. These journals should indicate how often seizures occur; what happens before the seizure occurs; and other complications that make the patient’s life difficult.
- Treatment side effects. Patients often need seizure medications to keep the effects of their epilepsy at bay. However, these medications can carry side effects of their own, including drowsiness and fatigue. Make note of how you feel during treatment, including whether or not you have suffered a seizure while taking your medications.
- Surgical intervention. Epilepsy that doesn't respond to a variety of anti-convulsant drugs may require surgery. Surgery can be done to remove an abnormality that is causing the seizures or to implant a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) to reduce the frequency of seizures.
If you're unable to work due to the symptoms of your epilepsy, our attorneys can help you get the benefits you deserve. Call us today, or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation with a Social Security attorney.