How Does the Social Security Administration Define Epilepsy?

December 20, 2018
Dayes Law Firm

Epilepsy is a debilitating condition that makes it very difficult to hold down a job and earn a living. This can be true even if you are taking medications to help manage or reduce seizures. Even if you do not have many seizures, it can take days or longer to fully recover from one, which can prevent you from working.

You should review how the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines epilepsy. If your condition fits these criteria, you might be able to obtain disability compensation. If you meet the definition, the experienced Phoenix Social Security Disability attorneys at Dayes Law Firm can help with all aspects of your claim.

Blue Book Listing for Epilepsy

The SSA maintains a Blue Book of Listings of Impairments. If you can prove that your condition meets the criteria in one of the listings in the Blue Book, you will qualify for disability benefits.

To satisfy the criteria in the listing for epilepsy, your epilepsy must be considered severe. Also, it must be uncontrolled by medications even though you strictly follow your medication regimen. The types of seizures you have must also fit one of the following definitions:

  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (once per month) – Seizures must occur at least once a month for at least three months in a row even though you followed your doctor’s prescribed treatment.
  • Dyscognitive seizures – Seizures must occur a minimum of once a week for at least three months in a row even though you followed prescribed treatment.
  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (once every two months) – Seizures occur at least once every two months for at least four months in a row even though you have followed your doctor’s prescribed treatment, plus you have a marked limitation in certain specified areas.
  • Dyscognitive seizures – Seizures occur at least once every two weeks for at least three months in a row even though you followed your doctor’s prescribed treatment, plus you have a marked limitation in certain specified areas.

Qualifying for benefits requires that you provide full and relevant information about your epilepsy diagnosis and history. Your disability attorney can help you gather this information and assemble the most relevant and helpful information for your application.

RFC Analysis

If your epilepsy does not meet the Blue Book definition, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your condition prevents you from working. In this situation, you will undergo a residual functional capacity (RFC) analysis.

You will need to complete functional reports that detail how your condition affects your daily life and your ability to complete routine activities. It is important that you fully answer these questions and provide as much detail as possible regarding your physical and mental limitations. Describe daily challenges, the severity and frequency of your seizures, side effects of medication and other problems that your impairment causes.

You will also be evaluated by your doctor who will complete these forms. He or she can provide information about your medical history, your diagnosis, how your seizures have changed over time, how you have responded to treatment and whether you have followed prescribed treatment.

The SSA will use this information to determine if you are able to perform any of your past work or any other work that you are qualified for given your limitations.

If you have any questions about completing these forms, it is important to consult a knowledgeable Social Security Disability lawyer.

Contact a Trusted Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you have epilepsy and believe you may meet the Blue Book definition or your condition prevents you from working, the skilled Social Security Disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm can help. We are experienced at pursuing disability claims with the SSA.

We can discuss your claim during a free consultation. We charge no upfront fees and we work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no risk to learning about your rights and the possibility of being approved for benefits. Our legal fees are subtracted from any back pay that you receive if your claim is approved.

Contact us today to schedule a free case review.