Can I Apply for Social Security Disability if I Have Seizures?

The severity and type of the seizures you experience will determine whether the Social Security Administration considers you disabled under its rules. The disability rules for seizures distinguish between seizures with convulsions and seizures without convulsions.

Seizures with convulsions also referred to as “grand mal seizures” or “generalized tonic-clonic seizures.” Seizures with convulsions may involve involuntary jerking movements, loss of consciousness, falls, muscle rigidity or tongue biting.  My clients that experience seizures often experience cognitive problems of being disoriented and extremely fatigued after seizures with convulsions.

Seizures without convulsions are referred to as “petite seizures,” “absence seizures” or “staring spells.” These seizures are momentary and usually last less than a minute. During a petite seizure, you may experience that you’re unable to hear or communicate. The seizures are often noticed when the seizure interrupts an activity with a blank stare.

Social Security defines you disabled if despite at least 3 months of prescribed treatment you still experience one or more seizure with convulsions per month or more than one seizure without convulsions per week.

You may have no idea that you’ve actually experienced a seizure and must rely on others who have observed your behavior. Before proper diagnoses, if you, especially if you’re a juvenile, experience these seizures without convulsions, you may be characterized as defiant, not listening, or indifferent. It is very important that family members and friends who have observed your seizures help you document the frequency and time your seizures occur in a diary or calendar.

The medications for seizures are ineffective and potentially dangerous if taken while you consumes alcohol or illicit drugs. Failing to refrain from using alcohol and drugs while taking anti-seizure medication can also be considered an issue of non-compliance and a reason for a denial of your disability benefits.

In addition, failing to take medication as prescribed can also be grounds for denial of disability benefits.  In summary, if your seizure conditions have been consistent for more than 3 months, you have been compliant with your doctor’s orders for taking medication and therapies to alleviate the seizures, you should consider contacting an attorney to pursue Social Security Disability benefit.

Contact us at Hunter & Everage for help with your disability claim.