Over the years, Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., has represented many people before the Social Security Administration due to seizure disorders. Seizure disorders can present unique issues with regard to claims for disability. The frequency and severity of the seizures will be an important factor in the determination of disability entitlement.

Since seizures can affect all age groups, the age of the applicant may be less of a consideration. If seizures are severe and frequent, whether an applicant is 62 or 32, that individual would still be less likely to maintain substantial gainful activity.

However, medical evidence of seizure disorders can be difficult to document. Unless an individual went to the hospital or doctor immediately following a seizure, there would not be "medical" evidence of that episode. Also, seizures vary in severity. For example, a major seizure could last several minutes with effects lasting for hours or days. Others may not be as severe and will pass relatively quickly. Regardless, a seizure usually incapacitates the individual for a time, thereby making work difficult.

If seizure activity is reported, Florida drivers may be required to surrender their drivers license until two years of seizure-free activity.  Surrender of a drivers license due to seizures is also a factor to be considered on whether an employee is capable of substantial gainful activity. If a license is surrendered, it's important to discuss with the doctor whether it is safe for a seizure patient to take public transportation, such as a bus or train.  If not, an individual's inability to travel to a job would be a significant barrier to employment.

If making a claim for Social Security disability based on seizure activity, there a few helpful hints that can assist in bringing a claim:

  1. As with any claim, seek medical treatment!
  2. Report all seizure activity to a doctor or hospital.
  3. It is very important to keep some type of diary or calender documenting seizures.  Unless you see a doctor following every seizure, it is the only way to document the frequency of seizure activity.
  4. Document how long it takes to recover from seizures.
  5. Ask family or friends who witness seizure activity what they observed and how long it lasted.

These tips can be very helpful in proving eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. Since seizures rarely occur in the presence of a doctor, it is important to keep records so that a doctor can make note of frequency and severity of seizure activity.

If you have questions regarding a claim for Social Security disability, please contact Johnson & Gilbert, P.A. for a free consultation by calling 1-800-556-8890.