Many people apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income due to seizures. Few are found disabled. Why is this? For one thing, Social Security has made it extremely difficult to prevail on a claim based on seizures. Social Security issued a ruling that shows the difficulty a claimant faces when claiming seizures.
POLICY STATEMENT: As a result of modern treatment which is widely available, only a small percentage of epileptics, who are under appropriate treatment, are precluded from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). Situations where the seizures are not under good control are usually due to the individual’s noncompliance with the prescribed treatment rather than the ineffectiveness of the treatment itself. Noncompliance is usually manifested by failure to continue ongoing medical care and to take medication at the prescribed dosage and frequency.
Social Security Ruling 87-6.
As you can see, Social Security is skeptical of claims based on seizures. It makes you wonder if Social Security will listen to your doctor if she tells you that you cannot work because of your seizures.
What exactly is Social Security looking for before approving a claim based on seizures? To show your seizures are disabling, you must prove that you have an ongoing relationship with your doctor. If you only see your doctor once in a blue moon, Social Security is less likely to agree with your doctor’s opinion that you cannot work. The doctor must be pretty detailed in describing your problems, treatments, and also how well the treatments work. The more detailed medical records you have in your file, the better. Social Security will look through your records to see if you have been taking your prescribed medicine. It helps your claim if the records show that your anticonvulsant blood levels are where the doctor wants them.
If you suffer constant, severe, seizures, and have applied for disability, you should talk to an experienced Social Security disability lawyer regarding your claim. There are other hoops and hurdles that must be jumped through and an attorney can help you.
For more information regarding things you can do to help strengthen your Social Security disability claim based on a seizure disorder, please see my colleague’s blog postfound here.