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The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits to individuals with disabilities who have worked long enough and paid Social Security income taxes. Once an individual has been kept out of work for 12 months or longer due to a disability, they may qualify to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Seizure disorder is caused by unusual electrical activity in the brain. The human brain uses neurons to transmit electrical pulses to nearby neurotransmitters, which then distribute “instructions” throughout the body to perform movements. In a normally functioning brain, the electrical pulses work together to ensure the electrical discharge is coordinated and that all movements are carefully controlled.
However, in the event of a seizure, the firing pattern of the neurons is disrupted, and many electrical impulses are generated synchronously, resulting in temporary brain dysfunction causing uncontrolled movements, unconsciousness, or changes in emotion. Because different parts of the brain control different thoughts and movements, the location of the malfunction will determine the outcome of the seizure, oftentimes with great variability.
The SSA refers to the Blue Book as a medical guide when determining an individual’s disability status. Before the SSA can award SSDI benefits, it must confirm that the applicant’s seizure disorder limits their ability to work. The Blue Book lists two possible seizure disorders that qualify for SSDI coverage: convulsive epilepsy (listing 11.02) and non-convulsive epilepsy (listing 11.03).
To qualify for coverage under listing 11.02, an individual must suffer at least one seizure each month after having taken medication for three months, and the seizures that occur during the day must cause a loss of consciousness or convulsions, or the seizures that occur at night must include symptoms that impact daytime activities.
To qualify for SSDI under listing 11.03, an individual must experience one seizure each week despite taking three months of prescription medication, and the seizure must interfere with daily activities or cause abnormal post-seizure behavior.
Individuals who don’t meet the requirements outlined in the Blue Book but are still disabled due to their seizure disorder can qualify for SSDI through medical-vocational guidelines. Using this approach, the Disability Determination Services will weigh the individual’s medical condition, age, educational background, transferable work skills, restrictions given by a doctor, and psychiatric conditions impacting their ability to work to determine if there is work in the national economy he or she can perform, despite their limitations
It is often difficult to evaluate disabilities, especially a seizure disorder because of the varying types of conditions. There are several different forms of the disorder, and some may be eligible under SSDI, while others may not. If you or a loved one has suffered from a seizure disorder, you may be eligible to receive SSDI benefits. Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, has experience in this field and can help you seek the compensation you may be owed. Reach out to an attorney today to learn more.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law