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Get Disability For Epilepsy: What You Need To Know To Avoid A Denial

Disability benefits for epilepsy and seizuresAs a former claims examiner reviewing social security disability claims, I am familiar with the process which may lead to a successful approval for benefits in cases of epilepsy. The medical records of the claimant’s treatment by their own personal physican and treating neurologist will be reviewed by state doctors. An important rule is that the impairment must last at least 12 months. Another words, if the claimant begins treatment but within one year his epilepsy is under good control, his application will be denied.

There are 2 major types of epilepsy: grand mal or convulsive epilepsy and petit mal eipilepsy. Grand mal  epilepsy should be documented by a description of a typical seizure consisting of convulsions,  biting of the tongue, possibly loss of bladder or bowel control and  loss of consciousness. It is important that the treating doctor state how compliant one is in taking prescribed anticonvulsant medications, since it is obvious that without following prescribed medications seizures will contine and the person seeking benefits will be denied. Social security rules state that those with this type of epilepsy should have seizures more frequently than once a month in spite of at least 3 months of prescribed treatment.

In nonconvulsive or petit mal type epilepsy,  individuals may have a loss of awareness or unconventional behavior which interfers with activity during the day; a sudden vacant expression may be present and some may have a brief period of loss of consciousness. These episodes must occur more than once weekly in spite of at least 3 months of prescribed treatment.

It would greatly improve  chances of receiving disability benefits if your treating doctor would write a letter specifically stating that despite treatment you continue to have a certain number of seizures each week or month.