Social Security Disability and Seizures, Epilepsy
Disability Benefits can be difficult to win on the basis of seizures for this reason. The seizure disorder listing (in the social security disability list of impairments, the blue book) is fairly specific about the need to have A) a documented frequency of seizures and B) these seizures must occur despite adherence to prescribed treatment.
What does this mean? First of all, it means that if a disability examiner or disability judge at a hearing has reason to believe that a medication compliance issue is involved, it may effectively invalidate the case. Medication compliance simply means taking the medicine that has been prescribed by a doctor and taking it exactly as directed. Why does the medication compliance issue exist? The social security viewpoint is this: Can a claimant's condition be considered disabing if they are not taking their prescribed meds, and would it be less limiting if they took their meds as directed by a doctor.
Documention of seizures, of course, is the other primary factor in evaluating social security disability claims and SSI claims based on seizures. Simply put, social security will not simply take a claimant's word that they experienced X number of seizures within a specific timeframe. The seizures need to be documented to prove that they did occur, and preferred documentation will always be that which bears the final signature of a medical doctor. In fact, from social security's point of view, documentation is not "medical" unless it is signed off by an MD, or by an other-wise approved medical specialist (usually, this means that the individual--with the exception of a physician assistant--can write prescriptions, so a podiatrist's records could count, and a chiropractor's records would not).
Now having said all this, even if seizures are not medically documented, a claimant (or child claimant) can still present a journal or diary of seizure occurrences to a disability examiner or disability judge. Why is this type of information considered? Because the reality of seizures is that they may occur frequently and have short duration. And for adults and parents of children with epilepsy, it may make little sense to drive to see a doctor each time seizures occur.
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