An Honest, Clear Voice In SSI/SSDI Care

How are epileptic seizures evaluated when seeking SSD benefits?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2018 | Social Security Disability

Oklahomans can suffer from a wide range of conditions and illnesses and many will warrant an approval for Social Security disability benefits. With any of these situations, it is important to understand how the Social Security Administration goes about evaluating the person to determine if they meet the requirements to get benefits. One condition that can warrant benefits is epilepsy. Those who have seizures that are recurrent and unprovoked from abnormal activity in the brain are epileptic. For adults, there are two common seizures that are considered potentially disabling: generalized tonic-clonic and dyscognitive.

For generalized tonic-clonic seizures, the person will lose consciousness. There will also be what is known as a “tonic” phase in which the person’s muscles will tense and they will lose control of their posture. Next is the “clonic” phase where there will be rapid cycles of the muscles contracting and relaxing, alternatively referred to as convulsions. When this happens, the person might bite his or her own tongue and become incontinent. They might be injured if they fall while having the seizure.

A dyscognitive seizure is when the person suffers an altered state of consciousness, but does not have convulsions or lose muscle control. He or she might stare blankly, have a change in their facial expression, and show automatisms which is smacking of the lips, swallowing, chewing or performing simple repetitive actions. This can escalate into a tonic-clonic seizure.

The SSA must receive a detailed description of the seizures from someone other than the individual applying for benefits – preferably a medical professional who has seen at least one of the seizures from which the person typically suffers. If the person has more than one type of seizure, each type must be described.

Having epilepsy can be a difficult situation to deal with. Considering all the problems that a person can have if he or she has these seizures, SSD benefits might be necessary to function each day. A legal professional can help with accruing all the necessary evidence for applying to receive Social Security disability due to epilepsy.

Source:, “11.00 Neurological — Adult — H. What is epilepsy, and how do we evaluate it under 11.02?,” accessed on Feb. 20, 2018