Epilepsy could be a incapacity that qualifies for Social Safety Incapacity Insurance coverage (SSDI) advantages if there may be medical documentation, proof of remedy and restricted potential to do sure duties. It might additionally qualify for work lodging beneath the People with Disabilities Act (ADA).
How a lot are SSDI advantages for epilepsy?
There is no such thing as a common mounted greenback quantity of SSDI advantages for epilepsy. SSDI advantages are primarily based on, amongst different issues, how a lot an individual has contributed to Social Safety from previous earnings.
The typical month-to-month Social Safety Incapacity Insurance coverage profit was about $1,487 in September 2023, in line with the Social Safety Administration. Incapacity advantages could also be taxable.
What varieties of epilepsy qualify for incapacity?
In its itemizing of impairments (referred to as “the Blue E-book”), the Social Safety Administration particulars the way it evaluates epilepsy for incapacity advantages. There are two widespread varieties of epilepsy.
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures and dyscognitive seizures. These are characterised by lack of consciousness, sudden muscle tensing and convulsions. The SSA considers whether or not these happen at the least as soon as a month for at the least three consecutive months regardless of remedy, or at the least as soon as each two months for at the least 4 consecutive months regardless of remedy and with a “marked limitation” in both bodily functioning; understanding, remembering, or making use of data; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting, or sustaining tempo; or adapting or managing oneself.
Dyscognitive seizures. These are characterised by alteration of consciousness, however with out convulsions or the lack of muscle management. Signs might embody clean staring, change of facial features and repetitive gestures or sounds. The SSA considers whether or not these seizures happen at the least as soon as per week for at the least three consecutive months regardless of remedy, or at the least as soon as each two weeks for at the least three consecutive months regardless of remedy and with a “marked limitation” in both bodily functioning; understanding, remembering, or making use of data; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting, or sustaining tempo; or adapting or managing oneself.
Epileptic episodes characterised by lower than what’s listed above might additionally qualify if the signs forestall full-time employment, in line with Jennifer Cronenberg, who’s senior counsel and director of authorized data with the Nationwide Group of Social Safety Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR).
Work lodging for epilepsy
The People with Disabilities Act considers epilepsy a incapacity, and it requires employers to offer affordable lodging to workers who’ve epilepsy.
These office lodging may embody:
A rubber mat or carpet to cushion a fall.
A personal space to relaxation after having a seizure.
Breaks to take treatment.
Schedule changes, schedule consistency, permission to work from home or go away to take medication or get remedy.
Room for a service animal skilled to alert and shield the particular person earlier than and through seizures.
Checklists to assist with remembering duties, or entry to written data or directions and voice-activated recorders for verbal directions.
The removing of marginal job features to permit for extra focus.
Prolonged coaching time and refreshers.
A mentor for each day steerage.
Epileptic occasions can look totally different for various folks. People ought to really feel snug working with their employers to provide you with a plan of motion within the case of an epileptic occasion. This might embody educating co-workers concerning the indicators of epilepsy and what to do if somebody is having a seizure.
Notice that the Social Safety Administration and the People with Disabilities Act have totally different strategies of figuring out incapacity. The Social Safety Administration does not mechanically take into account an individual disabled if they’re receiving work lodging beneath the ADA.
The SSDI utility course of might be arduous. It helps to have all the data required. To start out the method, you’ll want the next:
A medical historical past, prognosis data, check outcomes and medicine data.
Details about your remedy (together with doctor, hospitals or clinics that offered care, plus the dates of your visits).
Details about any relations who might qualify for advantages if you happen to obtain advantages.
When you’ve crammed out your preliminary utility, your native SSA workplace will confirm your nonmedical eligibility for incapacity (reminiscent of whether or not you’ve paid Social Safety taxes). Then, it transfers the appliance to the Incapacity Willpower Providers workplace in your state, which makes the choice about whether or not you qualify for SSDI.
You’ll have to fill out further types concerning your work historical past and each day functioning. Be as correct as you possibly can when filling these out, says Amanda Bonnesen, managing companion on the Berger and Inexperienced regulation agency in Pittsburgh. They’re one of the simplest ways to speak your signs and each day struggles.
There are 4 ranges of enchantment you may pursue in case your utility is denied.
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How seemingly is it that the SSA will approve my SSDI utility?
The SSA denies the vast majority of incapacity purposes (62%). As a result of there’s a human on the opposite finish of the choice, it’s typically exhausting to foretell whether or not approval is probably going, Bonnesen says.
The easiest way to set your case up favorably is to observe the principles, Bonnesen says. Meaning remaining in medical remedy, sticking with advisable specialists, present process any mandatory testing and taking all drugs prescribed. Chorus from drug and alcohol use throughout this time, Bonnesen added.
Bonnesen additionally recommends holding a each day symptom journal that you could undergo SSA. “It could actually simply be one thing easy the place the particular person writes down issues like ‘had a seizure right now — lasted 5 minutes, didn’t lose consciousness, however needed to sleep for 2 hours afterward,’” she mentioned. “Easy stuff like that, recorded in real-time, might be useful for the decision-makers at SSA to see.”
The method for an SSDI utility can last as long as three years, Bonnesen mentioned. “If an individual is recognized with epilepsy however has been episode-free for a protracted interval, they don’t seem to be prone to be discovered disabled, as a result of the prognosis is just not inflicting any day-to-day disruption in functioning,” she mentioned.