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I Suffer from Epilepsy. Can I Get Approved for Disability Benefits?


Last November, the city of Evansville came together for a fundraiser at the Evansville Fraternal Order of Eagles. All proceeds went to helping a local family, the Weinhandls. The family was dealing with the recent epilepsy diagnosis of their toddler daughter, Carlee. This diagnosis left an overwhelming amount of medical bills, in part covered by the generous donations from those who participated in the fundraiser.

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes reoccurring seizures in those who suffer from it. While it can be a result of other conditions, there is no known cause of the disease, though it can have a major effect on the lives of those who suffer from it. While medication can help control the disease, there is no real cure for it.

Applying for SSDI


If you are a victim of this disease, odds are your day-to-day life may be drastically affected. The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates epilepsy according to type, duration, frequency, and nature in order to determine whether your specific condition qualifies for benefits. When you apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) for your epilepsy, it is important that you are able to provide the following:

  • Diagnosis: In order to qualify for SSDI for your epilepsy, the disease must be diagnosed by a medical professional, and you must be able to provide documented proof.
  • Statement: In addition to the diagnosis, the SSA will require a statement from both you and your doctor providing details of your unique condition and the nature and frequency of your seizures. Be sure to include all pre- and post-seizure symptoms that you experience.
  • Third-Party Testimony: Another powerful record to include is an account of your seizures from a third-party witness. This will work to strengthen your claim.
  • Record of Past Seizures and Treatments: In order to prove frequency, you should provide a record of all past seizures. In addition, in order to indicate severity, you should include a record of EEG results and a detailed treatment history including any medications and treatments used.

What You Need to Prove

Many people react differently to their epilepsy, and this can cause different effects on their everyday life. With this in mind, there are a few important factors that the SSA is looking for in order to make their decision.

  • Frequency: How often the seizures occur can play a huge role in the decision-making process. In order to be approved based on frequency, you will need be prove that you suffer from one of the two more severe types of seizures. One type is called a tonic-clonic seizure, meaning you have experienced a seizure at least once a month for three consecutive months. The other type of seizure is considered dyscognitive, meaning that it occurs at least once a week for three consecutive months.
  • Physical, Emotional, and Mental Effects: Many people experience side effects after the seizures, and this can inhibit their ability to work. Common physical effects are a decrease in the ability to stand, balance, and function. Sometimes people also experience mental and emotional effects such as loss of memory, loss of ability to concentrate, and emotional distress.

Help from an Evansville Disability Attorney

If you suffer from epilepsy and it is affecting your ability to make an income, you could be entitled to SSDI. Let one of our experienced attorneys help you through the application process in order to increase your chances of approval. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.