There are a number of important considerations to keep in mind when suffering from a seizure disorder as you consider applying for Social Security disability benefits whether you’re in Maine, Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Understanding how the Social Security Administration (SSA) analyzes such claims can help avoid unexpected surprises down the road.
As with any disability claim before SSA, it is important to understand that one needs to prove that they are suffering from a medically determinable impairment (MDI) that remains severe and disabling, despite prescribed treatment, for what will be a year or longer. There are two different ways to qualify for benefits: one is to prove that you meet one of Social Security’s medical listings of impairments (at step 3 of the sequential evaluation process).
Social Security listing 11.02 addresses epilepsy (seizures) and requires documentation of what are referred to as dyscognitive seizures or generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Dyscognitive seizures were formerly referred to as “partial complex seizures” for what are deemed to be focal seizures with altered awareness. These are seizures that involve altered awareness or responsiveness (such as what is also called a petit mal seizure). The other type of seizure referenced within the listing, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, refers to the type of seizure that involves loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions.