Disability Benefits Based on a Severe Seizure DisorderPosted September 3, 2015 by Premier Disability Services, LLC® A claimant suffering from a seizure disorder may have a more difficult time proving they are disabled for the purpose of obtaining Social Security Disability benefits. The reason is that seizure disorders are episodic in nature. In many cases, during periods where the claimant is seizure free, there are no work related limitations. The challenge for a claimant trying to prove disability based on this condition is to make sure their seizure activity, including the frequency, duration, and severity, is well documented. Below are a few useful tips for disability applicants alleging disability based on a seizure disorder:
Treat after a seizure
Depending on the severity of a seizure, many claimants may not feel that it is necessary to contact their doctor following the seizure. This is not necessarily the best decision for a claimant trying to establish that they are disabled. By seeking treatment after a seizure, a claimant is creating a “paper trail” of their seizure activity. This will in turn create a clear log in the claimant’s medical records of how often the seizures occur and their severity. It will also create clear documentation of any residual effects of the seizure, such as fatigue, fogginess, or cognitive deficits.
Remain compliant with medications
A claimant’s compliance with their medication regimen will be a major factor considered in determining the severity of a seizure disorder. A person who has frequent seizures, but who fails to take their medication, will likely have a difficult time proving they are disabled. In the eyes of the Social Security Administration, a reasonable inference can be made that the claimant’s conditions would not continue at their current severity level if the proper medications were taken. To avoid this becoming an issue, it is very important to remain up to date on their medication regimen.
Keep a seizure Log
Creating a trail of documentation regarding a claimant’s seizure activity is a very important step in proving disability based on a seizure disorder. This can be done effectively by keeping a seizure log. Again, a seizure log creates yet another source of documentation regarding the frequency, length, and severity of a claimant’s seizures. If a spouse, family member, or friend witnesses the seizure, ask them to help fill in the blanks of what you do not remember.
Obtain third party statements
Information from a spouse, family member, and/or friend can help fill in the blanks for a claimant’s seizure log. However, it can also be very useful to obtain third party statements from family or friends about their observations of seizure activity. A statement from a spouse can be particularly useful in establishing the severity of a seizure disorder. The Social Security Administration may send out questionnaires to a claimant’s family and friends to obtain third party statements. If they do not, it is wise to consider obtaining third party statements independently and submitting them to SSA. This can be done by completing Form SSA 795 Statement of Claimant or Other Person.
Premier Disability Services, LLC assists claimants with seizure disorders on a daily basis and we know what type of documentation provides a claimant with the best opportunity to receive a favorable decision. If you are filing for Social Security benefits based on a seizure disorder, please contact our office for a free evaluation.
By: Thomas A. Klint of Premier Disability Services, LLC®