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Over 2.3 million adult Americans, and nearly a half-million children, suffer from some form of epilepsy. Doctors diagnose another 150,000 new cases each year. If you are a victim, a disability attorney can help you assemble a convincing case.

A birth injury, head injury, stroke, and tumor can all lead to epilepsy. But about two-thirds of cases are classified as “cryptogenic” or “idiopathic” because there is no known cause. Although epilepsy can be controlled by medication and/or surgical intervention, the condition may never truly go away, resulting in a permanent disability.

SSDI Benefits for Epileptics

Generally speaking, any condition is “disabling” if it significantly interferes with a person’s everyday life. Specifically, in terms of epilepsy, the hearing officer looks at the type of condition and whether or not the claimant is taking medication or other doctor-recommended steps to control the epilepsy. Most seizures fall into one of two categories:

Grand Mal: These seizures result in convulsions and loss of consciousness. To be eligible for benefits, victims must have more than one seizure a month despite having undergone at least three months of treatment. The hearing officer will consider both daytime and nighttime episodes, as long as they significantly interfere with a person’s daily activities.

Petit Mal: These victims do not lose consciousness after a seizure, but they do become extremely disoriented and suffer a concussion or dementia-like symptoms. The episodes must occur at least once a week to qualify for disability.

To secure cash benefits, a claimant obviously needs a medical diagnosis. An attorney can also call witnesses who have seen the claimant have a seizure, and these stories can often paint a very compelling and personal picture of the person’s disability. If claimants have voluntarily surrendered their drivers’ licenses or have otherwise limited their activities, such information is certainly relevant.

Many times, a hearing officer is inclined to say that the claimants are either under-medicated or not taking their medication. But many anti-seizure drugs have serious side effects if the dosage level is too high, and some people have a metabolism that essentially eats up the medicine before it can become effective. Persuasive arguments like these can help you and your family get the cash benefits you need.

Call a Social Security Disability Attorney for Help

If you are suffering from epilepsy or any other illness, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, many applicants find the process of applying for benefits complex and frustrating, since many are denied upon their first application.

A qualified social security disability attorney in Roanoke, VA can help you present your case to Social Security and, if they still ignore you, appeal to the appropriate court. Even if you have already been denied benefits, our firm may be able to help. 

Thanks to The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into Social Security disability law.

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