It is definitely possible to win Social Security Disability benefits based on epilepsy or a seizure disorder. Listing 11.02 cover grand mal seizures, compulsive seizures which result in a loss of consciousness. Listing 11.03 covers petite mal seizures, sometimes these seizures occur at night when the person is asleep and they don’t even realize it. It can greatly impair their day time activity, their fatigue levels and resulting residuals that exhibit themselves during the day for no apparent reason. What is most important in seizure cases is that the person keeps a journal and logs the frequency and duration of their seizures.
Now obviously sometimes they are not going to remember when the seizures happened so a third-party witness can also keep a journal. That is usually going to be someone you live with maybe a spouse, family member or someone who witnesses the seizures and can know how long they last and how frequently. That third-party witness will often be called upon at the hearing by me to testify and corroborate your testimony and the medical record regarding the frequency and duration of your seizures. Finally when you go to your treating physician you should make sure that that source knows that you have a Social Security Disability case pending for epilepsy and that they document in writing all the seizure history that you have told them during your visits. It is not uncommon for people not to go to the ER or be taken by ambulance every time they have a seizure so we need to get those episodes into the treating notes just by way of the history that you give to your doctor.
One other thing, when I do have epilepsy cases or seizure disorder cases and we lose it is almost always because of two things: Number one that person continues to drive and maintain a Connecticut license. That doesn’t make sense if you have a seizure disorder and it is genuinely disabling you know that driving will put your life at risk and risk the other people’s lives. The judge is going to question your credibility if you still maintain driver’s license. Secondly, what often really hurts my seizure cases are when people are non-compliant with their medications. Now I understand that sometimes the seizure itself results in memory issues that may cause you to forget your medication and so I will certainly bring that up at hearing and examine a third-party witness about that issue but in many cases a person’s frequency of seizures is unfortunately because they are not taking the medications, such as Dilantin, that the doctors prescribing in a matter that they should take them. So if you have epilepsy case pending you cannot be driving and please be compliant with your seizure medication.