Why is so difficult to be found disabled due to a seizure disorder?
People often call me with questions about disability due to a seizure disorder. Usually the person has been denied benefits and they are upset because the seizure disorder disrupts their life and they believe they cannot work.
I tell them that Social Security is extremely skeptical of someone filing a claim for benefits due to seizures. In fact, Social Security takes the view that it is usually the claimant’s fault that their seizure disorder is disabling. Social Security Ruling 87-6 clearly states:
“Situations where the seizures are not under good control are usually due to the individual’s noncompliance with the prescribed treatment rather than the ineffectiveness of the treatment itself. Noncompliance is usually manifested by failure to continue ongoing medical care and to take medication at the prescribed dosage and frequency. Determination of blood levels of anticonvulsive drugs may serve to indicate whether the prescribed medication is being taken. In a substantial number of cases, use of alcohol has been found to be a contributory basis for the individual’s failure to properly follow prescribed treatment.”
So how do you overcome Social Security’s mindset? I advise my clients to:
1. Create a seizure log.
2. Get statements from people who have witnessed your seizures.
3. Take your medicine and make your doctor appointments. This is vital. If you are taking your medications and still having seizures, your doctor will more than likely check your blood to see if your medication levels are ideal.
4. Do not drink alcohol.
Remember, you have the burden of proving you are disabled.