Epilepsy Talk

Epilepsy — Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits — Straight from the Source | July 22, 2013

If you suffer from epilepsy and wish to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must be able to prove that you meet the criteria of the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s Blue Book listing for the condition.

The Blue Book is a guideline created by the SSA for disability adjudicators to follow when approving or denying disability claims.

A copy of the Blue book can be found here: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook

If you can prove through medical documentation that you meet the criteria of a listing, it will increase your chances of receiving an approval of benefits during the initial stage of the application process.

In the case of epilepsy, your condition will fall under Section 11.02 or 11.03 of the Blue Book depending on which form of epilepsy you suffer from.

Section 11.02 addresses convulsive epilepsy while Section 11.03 addresses non-convulsive epilepsy.

Section 11.02 – Convulsive Epilepsy

In order to qualify under section 11.02 of the Blue Book, you must be able to prove that you suffer from a typical seizure pattern including all of the associated phenomena. The seizures must occur more frequently than once a month in spite of at least three months of prescribed treatment.

Section 11.03 – Nonconvulsive Epilepsy

In order to qualify under Section 11.03 of the Blue Book, you must prove that you suffer from petit mal, psychomotor or focal seizures that are documented by a typical seizure pattern.

These seizures must occur more than once per week despite three months of prescribed treatment.

You must also be able to prove that there are alterations of awareness or loss of consciousness and unconventional behaviour along with significant interference of activity during the day.


Once the SSA has deemed you disabled, you must meet other criteria in order to qualify for one of the two available disability programs.

The two available disability programs include SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance).

Under the SSDI program, you must have earned enough work credits in order to qualify for benefits.

As a general rule, you must have worked for at least half of the time you have been able to work.

For example, if you are 24 years old, you should have been able to work for six years (between the ages of 18 and 24) and must have worked three of those six years in order to qualify.

If you have been able to work more than ten years, you must have worked five of the past ten years in order to qualify for SSDI benefits.

If you do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits, you may be able to qualify for SSI benefits.

SSI is a needs-based program.

In order to qualify, your income cannot exceed $710 per month as an individual or $1,066 per month as a couple.

Your assets must also not exceed $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits

To apply for disability benefits you can visit your local Social Security office or apply online at the SSA’s website (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/disability.htm).

When filling out the application paperwork, make sure you are as detailed as possible with your answers.

These answers will help the SSA determine whether or not you meet the disability requirements.

Also make sure you provide medical evidence proving the above-mentioned disability criteria.

Written statements from treating physicians will also weigh heavily on the outcome of your disability claim.

Article by Ram Meyyappan
Social Security Disability Help
For more information on applying for disability benefits with epilepsy, please visit: http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/disabling-conditions/epilepsy-and-social-security-disability

Other articles of interest:

Secrets to Winning Your Social Security Claim   https://epilepsytalk.com/2011/08/11/secrets-to-winning-your-social-security-claim/

A Little-Known Benefit for Aging Veterans  https://epilepsytalk.com/2013/05/21/a-little-known-benefit-for-aging-veterans/

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  1. THANKYOU! I AGREE 100% of all that said. MY PROBLEM-I am capable of WORKING-NO PROBLEM HERE,I WANT to CONTINUE WORKING,I WOULD WORK TILL I am 100,000 yrs old,I CANT STAND SITTING AROUND HOUSE. I have been offered jobs that are associated w/my CAREER/TRAINING-AUTO MECHANIC,I STILL HAVE ALL MY TOOLS/EQUIP. from when i WORKED as Mechanic. My Dr. filled out Medical Exemption Forms for me to continue working as mechanic-only HE SUBMITTED FORMS to my EMPLOYER INSTEAD. Tried explaining several times what Dr. did to Dr. but he just doesnt UNDERSTAND! No other Drs. in area that deal w/epilepsy.


    Comment by lckyedd — July 22, 2013 @ 12:04 PM

    • ED, Tell the receptionist (n a friendly manner), that you’re coming in to physically pick up your papers. (You may have to pay small fee.)

      As I said it’s your right under the US Information Act.

      If he/she does not cooperate, have your local EFA chapter intervene.

      They are all too familiar with the subject.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 22, 2013 @ 12:51 PM

  2. Sometimes its the meds you take can put on ssd. I take 3 different meds and with the side effects


    Comment by Jack — July 22, 2013 @ 12:16 PM

    • Jack, could you explain how this works? Because Doug has a question about meds and SSD and I’m not sure if I gave him the correct answer.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2013 @ 10:13 AM

      • At the end of the day,,, It ALL comes down to the “DOCTORS”, signing one “disable” or not.

        The rest is just bureaucratic wrestling, SHUFFLING PAPERS between SSA & the “disabled”.


        Comment by Gerrie — July 24, 2013 @ 9:37 PM

  3. I dont feel i need to be put on SSDisability. I can basically do all i did before but maybe just a little slower till i get used to all again. I am type of person who would rather work all time than not work-Still take Rests/Breaks. I used to work 2jobs while going to school to learn to become Mechanic,all w/no problems. was seizure free over 25yrs until new Dr. comes in,changes meds from Dilantin to Keppra;Keppra didnt agree w/me and caused seizure. Drive License recalled till seizure free. I needed Drive License to remain work as Auto Mechanic-KEEP MECHANIC LICENSES. Dr. filled out all the necessary paperwork for me to remain work,keep mechanic licenses. Only problem was Dr. sent copies of PAPERWORK to my Employer instead of the Dept. of Transp. who would have handled all. Papers were EXEMPTION PAPERS which would allow me to keep all Mechanic Licenses,Perform same work except not Drive. Since i no longer had valid Mechanic Licenses employer let me go. Tried to deny me unemployment saying i didnt want to do work. I appealed and won my right to collect Unemployment. Now that Unemployment done i apply for Disability-TURNED DOWN. I knew i would since i am very capable of performing same type work as before-only little slower. I just dont know where to go next?? Been offered AutoMechanic Jobs,but when i say how Licenses no valid-all changes. Here i am w/over $15,ooo in tools sitting in my Garage along w/toolbox. I could never get anything close to what i paid,even though all in TOP SHAPE. I am very much capable of doing all work as before but just a little slower-TILL I GET BACK TO DOING WHAT I DID BEFORE. I am at TOTAL LOSS as what to do/where to go now.??? ED


    Comment by lckyedd — July 22, 2013 @ 1:52 PM

  4. I think you should take your case either to your local EFA or the man himself, ram@ssd-help.org.

    He should be able to evaluate your situation.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 22, 2013 @ 6:03 PM

  5. same happen to me as no’ 3 person writing worst was real allergic to kepra landed in hospital for 3days didn’t know what happened to me blood pressure wouldn’t come to normal it took me a year to get over kepra . I used to be on dillantin did fine but neurologist didn’t want to listen . finally am back on dillatin and doing ok so far


    Comment by jeannine — July 23, 2013 @ 10:45 AM



      Comment by lckyedd — July 24, 2013 @ 8:31 AM

      • ok , was it STATE DISABILITY , OR SSI/D.. 2 different things , both you pay into , BUT , STATE DIS, is run by the state , through UI , must be on it for 12 mos./ 1 yr,… SSI/D.. is SSI { plus is 2} one is SSI/ R, other is SSI/D.. SOCIAL SECURITY , WILL TRY TO DO BOTH ! i have tried for 20 yrs . & depending , where you live at , too .. if you tried , even once .. dont give up either …its those drs that the SSI , put you through .. !! BEND OVER TOUCH YOUR TOES .. OR TAPPING A PEN / PENCIL { YUP this happen to my son who was in the military ! i would of told that DR , ” HEY DAMN IT , . THATS REALLY BOTHERSOME.. !!he got a lawyer , & had to go through VA , for the paper work .. { boy was that FUN .being he was under 30 yrs of age , also Mechanic in military , he cant stand more that 15 minutes , sit more than 15 mins , or walk more thats what his VA dr put down !! .}….but he finally got it ..

        as for bending over touching your toes , IT HAPPEN to my friend .. from what the SSI DRS , are going through is , ” IF YOU CAN DO THIS , YOU CAN WORK!!..{ this happen to my friend , when had her knee , worked on , bone on bone , hurt her back , hurt her knee on the job , thus , she warned me on this too ..
        heck after many times , i kept this in mind .. 8 yrs ago , had my drs write down i should , being i cant lift more than 3lbs .. reason , i had a seizure , injured my back , herniated disc &compression fracture.. there went my 25 yrs in retail .. , on top of this had hep/ c , due to meditcation i was on .. had to switch ,{ was on dilantin & mysoline ..}… ASAP!{ dilatin } so really watch your liver on this drug !!the levels will , show false poss..soo toxic , if really high , then , would be soo low as if your not taking it {?}, when you did !!
        went on keppra .. sure at first , had the side effects .. but over came that .. then came the weight lost .. didnt know what was going on .. ran back to drs .. had cancer ! .. this time , was an female issues .. long story .. the size of a softball .. i was on STATE DISABILITY.. SDI .. comes jan , my last , of my SDI , FILED FOR SSI/D .. due to my back , had to use a cane , feeling weak , had an appt , with those EVIL SSI/ DRS .. they asked me to , BEND OVER TAKE OFF MY SHOES , TOLD THEM may i have a chair ? they told me “BEND OVER , ” I WAS IRRATE ! , then told then ” OK , BUT , IF I FALL OVER I WILL HAVE YOUR LICENSE .. { MEDICAL THAT IS } she told me ” FOR GET IT .. ..{what she wanted was for me to take off my shoes so she could weigh me .} then asked me how much i weigh , told her ., then back to waiting rm , 10 min later the dr called me .. OMG , COULDNT UNDERSTAND HER LANGUAGE EITHER ! yup , she must of came over from a forign country .. Europe? Russia? , she asked me soo many questions , take off the sun glasses , why am i shaking , { sun glasses , is for , the sensitivity towards light {Photophobia,} , so i wear sun glasses , even at night , the shaking , heck , who knows .. could be from the meds i take .. that causes it , seizure meds arent the only meds i take either , its HBP MEDS { HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE } PAIN MEDS , FOR BACK , PLUS SEIZURE , … then told , me to walk a straight line , i had to use my cane . she told me ” NO , NO , CANE .. thinking WTF H , is she thinking of .. told her i have to use the cane , to stay stable on my feet .. but warning , ” IF YOU WANT ME TO , NOT USE ME CANE , I WILL FALL , ARE YOU WILLING TO PICK ME UP? & IF MY HUSBAND , HAS TO COME IN , & SEES ME ON THE FLOOR , I WILL ALSO , HAVE YOUR MEDICAL LICENSE .. she said forget it .. then asked me to close my eyes & touch my face , nose , squeeze her fingers .. then said , thats it .. came the court hearing , had a lady , from EMPLOYMENT OFFICE , mention that being , i had no other work skills , working in retail , for soo many yrs , i was granted SSI/D .. Its not , much , getting paid have to pay for meds ,{ REMEMBER , medical only pays 80%, you have to pay , 20%.. its best to either get another personal insurance to , help you out .. 10% is better than the 20 .. & also , make sure , you have the drs notes .. no matter what , ask, if you can have a seizure train dog .. to help you out ..


        Comment by Cathy Eliza Flowers — July 29, 2013 @ 12:17 PM

      • State SSI. I can pretty much do all i did before but not as quick,till get used to being off BUTT again. Guess i will just have to ask good ole Dr. to add my name to his Bank Account,this way i can have $$$ come in. ED


        Comment by Ed Hricak — July 31, 2013 @ 8:42 AM

  6. Hi Jeannine,

    For some docs, Keppra seems to be the first line of action these days. But certainly not for all patients.

    I’m glad and proud that you stood up for yourself, because here’s other people’ s experiences:

    Keppra – What People Are Saying…



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 23, 2013 @ 3:45 PM

  7. Phylis, maybe I missed it, but I wondered if there was any info on long term issues caused by meds and disability benefits? I don’t need them or want them, but I fear what could happen over the long haul.

    I don’t have seizures often enough to qualify based on your article, and hope that always stays the case, but if someone had cognitive issues, for example, from long term use of epilepsy drugs, would they be able to qualify?


    Comment by Doug — July 24, 2013 @ 12:36 AM

    • Here Problem: I am 100000000% capable working,i wish to return to my CAREER as an AUTO MECHANIC. My IDIOT Dr. filled out forms for me to remain working and keep Mechanic Licenses-I was soooo HAPPY. But like an idiot my Dr. is,he sent all the PAPERWORK to keep Mechanic Licenses to EMPLOYER instead of Dept. of Trans.,info. along w/ADDRESS is Listed at TOP of FORMS WHERE to RETURN PAPERS. Guess my Dr. cant read/understand simple instructions-he sent PAPERWORK to EMPLOYER instead of Dept. of Trans. Since Dept.of Trans. never recieved EXEMPTION FORMS for me to keep Mechanic Licenses and Remain WORKING my Employer hired an 18yr old straight from HIGH SCHOOL,no previous EXPERIENCE,NO LICENSES etc. OUT i went after 15+ yrs w/Employer. Other than taking vacation days 1day @time i very seldom,if at all,missed work. Employer/Boss would go away Fri. and leave me to run SHOP myself,no other employees were working. I did regular Mechanic work,i billed out customers-these bills already made up,i just cashed them out. My Boss trusted me this much;when he would go away these Fridays and trust me w/Business i was also left $$$$ and all Inspection Stickers. I had keys to open up,given alarm code to turn alarm off upon entering/turn alarm on/set when leaving Fri. I never STOLE anything. Another nice thing-I WAS ONLY AUTO MECHANIC in the AREA that had EMISSION REPAIR LICENSE-if your car failed Emission Test you are not ALLOWED a State Inspection Sticker-even if your vehicle was passing-until vehicle passed Emissions. If after 3rd attempt your vehicle still didnt pass,repair work was done to try to help pass you were issued a WAIVER. Waiver issues an Emission Sticker and allows a State Sticker to be issued-only 1yr. EXACT work to be done next time. I just cant get Dr. to re-fill out forms. Also same w/Drive License-ALL REQUIREMENTS met-remained seizure free-to have Drive License Re-instated,only Dr. needed to fill out&SIGN form-HE JUST TOO LAZY TO DO!! Now what?? Cant work,cant Drive-SO HOW am I SUPPOSED to PAY BILLS etc.?? Contacted Epilepsy Foundation for ASSISTANCE several TIMES-STILL EXACT SAME SITUATION/PLACE as from BEGINNING??? ED


      Comment by lckyedd — July 24, 2013 @ 8:25 AM

    • Doug,

      RE: Social Security for drug side-effects or “damage”

      Unfortunately, I think the answer is no.

      Drugs can screw with your brain, but I don’t think any doc is going to own up to that.

      And the doctor’s records are the most important part of the Social Security merry-go-round. 😦


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2013 @ 9:53 AM

  8. Ed, perhaps this article can help you:

    FREE Legal Resources



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2013 @ 10:06 AM

    • Hi PHYLIS,i MUST SAY THIS-YOU are #1,i dont know where the **** alot of us would be if you did not start this website-THANKYOU VERY MUCH.  I appologize if i may have said something inconvenient.  ED   THANKYOU PHYLIS!



      Comment by lckyedd — July 24, 2013 @ 11:04 AM

  9. Doug,

    Apparently Jack (comment 2) has had success getting SSD because of drug disabilities.

    “Sometimes its the meds you take can put on ssd. I take 3 different meds and with the side effects.”

    Perhaps you should contact him, in reply to his post.

    I said I possibly gave you wrong information — and asked how he did it.

    Hopefully, we’ll get a reply.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

  10. If worse comes to worse, anyone can contact Ram at ram@ssd-help.org


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2013 @ 10:33 AM



    Comment by lckyedd — July 24, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

  12. Ed,

    See comment #18.

    FREE Legal Resources



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 24, 2013 @ 11:22 AM

  13. As Gerrie says: “At the end of the day,,, It ALL comes down to the “DOCTORS”, signing one “disable” or not.
    The rest is just bureaucratic wrestling, SHUFFLING PAPERS between SSA & the “disabled”.

    Id like to say I don’t believe it.

    But I’d also like to see people wo are disabled in any way, get the assistance they need (to survive.)

    The question is: who’s holding the cards and who pays?

    And how do you get what you NEED?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 25, 2013 @ 8:35 AM

    • Hi Phylis,Ed back again. I have read alot of the posts being left and alot of them say DILANTIN #1. As i mentioned,I DONT FEEL DISABLED in ANYWAY SHAPE or FORM. I was doing very very good on Dilantin-99.99% until NEW Dr. switched me over to Keppra,thats when 1st seizure occurred in very long time. As of leaving reply,i am still w/my Dilantin but I NOT WORK-my career as Licensed Certified Mechanic over with. All i can really say-THANKYOU DR. for switching me to keppra,causing 1st seizure in very long time. TODAY-i am not working,not Driving-DISABILITY i do not qualify for. It was determined that since i can pretty much do all i did before becoming unemployed-I am not DISABLED. Been trying to get Epilepsy Foundation to assist,but so far NOONE has. PLEASE PLEASE KEEP THIS WEBPAGE RUNNING,HELPFUL. ED


      Comment by lckyedd — July 25, 2013 @ 9:05 AM

  14. Ed,

    I have given you all the information I have.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 25, 2013 @ 9:15 AM

    • I know,sorry for asking again. YOU are #1 here. ED


      Comment by lckyedd — July 25, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

  15. Hey Ed,

    How long ago was your last seizure? Also where do you live? Most states will give you back your licence in 6 months or shorter. In California, i got mine back in 3 months after a crash on the highway. Grand mal in the middle of rush hour traffic. The angels were watching over me that day. And a few other days as well. 🙂

    Also if your doc sent the paperwork to your old employer, can he just readdress it the correct place?

    If worst gets to worst, maybe look for some other type of job in the mechanical field. Like manager at a dealership for mechanics doing the emissions. Or a manager in a parts place.

    Good luck,



    Comment by Zolt — July 26, 2013 @ 2:46 PM

    • You got to love this site,,,,

      “In California, I got mine back in 3 months after a crash on the highway. Grand mal in the middle of rush hour traffic”.

      God Zolt,
      Where in the hell have I been all this years,,, ???

      Just like ED,,, The Doctors reported my seizures to state authorities, suspending my DL immediately. I’ve given up my DL, long time ago.

      Thanks Zolt,, Time to get back to action, rattling few feathers,,, starting from my Doctors Office.

      ED,,, Let’s go raise hell, defending our rights !!!
      BTW: It would be for your best interest if you can write a letter to your Congressman & Senator to get involved in your behalf (that’s what your tax-dollars is for).
      Good Luck !!!


      Comment by Gerrie — July 26, 2013 @ 6:31 PM

      • YOU ROCK GERRIE!!!


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 26, 2013 @ 8:03 PM

      • Contacted Senator in my area for assistance,he pretty much got stuck same PLACE i did-DR. Dr. wont clear me/release any info. even to STATE OFFICIAL-?? I dont qualify for Disability,i cant work,cant drive-WHO THE HELL is SUPPOSED TO PAY my BILLS,BUY ME FOOD,etc. ??


        Comment by lckyedd — August 6, 2013 @ 11:59 AM

      • Wrote letter to Govt. official in my area/town. Stuck in exact same spot as me-DR. wont release info. on what going on,why license wont be restored. Now i am stuck in rut,guess i will have to contact our good ole pres.-Baraack;anybody know his phone#(cell#)/or #at WHITE HOUSE?? Ed


        Comment by lckyedd — August 6, 2013 @ 12:04 PM

      • You are going to LOVE this: I contacted the MAYOR,the MAYOR HIMSELF,of the town i live in hoping to get assistance,as reccommended-HE DOESNT WANT TO GET INVOLVED!!   What next,our Beloved President,i think he would get up off his ass and come down to my house,take me out for a wonderful lunch/Dinner-or Breakfast-mmmmm,cant wait. Big question here would be who treats who??  Cmon,this lovely country we live in-I am sure i would get stuck PAYING!!  Nobody wants to get involved w/assisting me!!   Ed



        Comment by lckyedd — August 7, 2013 @ 8:14 AM

    • THANKYOU for REPLY. Last SEIZURE several years ago,this when Dr. switch me from DILANTIN-LOMG TERM DRUG WHICH KEPT ME SEIZURE FREE-to Keppra which caused SEIZURE after few doses. Tried explaining to Dr. what go on but he no listen. I went back to DILANTIN myself,REMAINED SEIZURE FREE. Tried applying for different type jobs but still #1 thing remains-NO DRIVE LICENSE. Been offered several Auto Mechanic Jobs but had to turn down since no Work(inspection/emission)Licenses. Dr. filled out paperwork to remain work as Mechanic,Keep work Licenses-like an idiot he sent all paperwork to Employer instead DMV. Tried explaining what happen-NOBODY seem to LISTEN,CARE. The only PEOPLE that really care are THOSE on this WebSite,we all stickup for each other. THANKYOU ED


      Comment by Ed Hricak — July 29, 2013 @ 9:20 AM

      • EXCELLENT IDEA ED,,, “Guess i will just have to ask good ole Dr. to add my name to his Bank Account,this way i can have $$$ come in.”

        Fantastic preposition.

        Listen ED,
        The best way to cut off the SSA/SSI bureaucratic nightmare is get your Congressman/Woman or Senator involve on your behalf.


        Comment by Gerrie — July 31, 2013 @ 5:53 PM

      • Hi Phyllis,i understand what you are telling me,i TRUST YOU 100% and want say THANKYOU. Believe it or not,i already did contact my local Senator for assistance-i got nowhere;i have been calling back,leave messages-still get nowhere,nobody even calls me back. I have requested a NEW DR.,when i go in i am taking all Paperwork given me saying it is ok to remain working as Mechanic,even copies of Exemption Forms allowing me to remain an Inspection Mechanic. I will keep you informed. THANKYOU VERY MUCH for all YOUR KINDNESS. ED


        Comment by Ed Hricak — August 1, 2013 @ 9:43 AM

      • Ed, with the sen, or congress ppl , check all of them , who are for , disabilty ppl seniors , disability rights , { also dont forget their going on their months long vaca too .. may , want to also try legal aids too who work for disabilty , every state has one .. good luck


        Comment by Cathy Eliza Flowers — August 1, 2013 @ 9:48 AM

      • Phyliss,would be able to assist me,have been trying to contact my Local Senator concerning my issues/problems i am facing w/epilepsy? When i try to contact them OUTLOOK EXPRESS comes up as email service to send email with,my browser doesnt accept outlook express,i use google/verizon.  Be able to assist me w/this??  I so much want to take your advice.   THANKYOU   ED



        Comment by lckyedd — August 4, 2013 @ 2:00 PM

      • ED, see if they are on facebook or any social media , ie Twitter , linkedin*( think thats the spelling ] see if you can send a message through that .,.


        Comment by Cathy Eliza Flowers — August 5, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

      • They do not want to get involved-some fantastic country we live in!!


        Comment by lckyedd — August 6, 2013 @ 12:09 PM

  16. on the DL, heard alot of issues requarding them, from what i have learn BEFORE , GETTING ONE , C, DMV , gives a 3 PAGE LETTER TO YOU , MUST GIVE TO DR , THE DR THEN GIVES IT TO / SENDS TO C DMV.. the letter contains , what meds your on, hows your seizures , doing ,exc.. many asked me WHY NOT DRIVE .. so i called CA DMV .. talked to someone who handles the license on those with disabilties , such as diabeties , seizures ” E” .. i asked these questions :” ok had E seizures for over 45 yrs , past drivers training , test 100%, but , always , had seizures , with out any warnings.. now my question to you what if , i had one while driving , then hit a person , injured , / death occured , what happens ,,? CA DMV , RESPONED ” well , you can be sued for medical bills of the other person , or would have to pay , for the funeral , ” plus , if it was a fraud , of not , putting that you put it down on the DMV RECORDS , POSSIBLE JAIL TIME, TOO ..this could go up to 1-2 yrs .. this guy also mention , depending who the person is , could be a lawyer , you hit , sues you for everything you have , being now , he cant work! … then , theres a mother to be , walking her 3 yr old to the park , you hit the mom , injuring her , but she has trouble , with pre birth , as for the 3 yr old , she died right there .. ” this really , made me think on ” do i really want to drive ? sure my seizures are under control, BUT , are they really ?!? { really , havent had one , in 8 yrs } when on other drugs , happened every month , or at end of my last seizure being a yr.. now on a drug , really good .. but , i always think “WHAT IF , TODAY , I HAVE A SEIZURE ? “WHAT IF I ….. nah .. not taking a chance with that .. nor , losing my home , or items , i recd ..
    ALSO being also in calif , they can do blood work , urine test , to see what meds you are on too , if poss, you can be charged also with DWI.. { this also goes , for drugs OTC .. } .. few yrs ago , a guy , had a seizure , hit a parent on vacation from Europe , hit & killed his 3 / 4 yr old daughter , injured him too { never filed with his dr either }.. broken arm , sued the driver , driver lost his license , also , his home .. another one , just brought a car , she , had a seizure , driving on HIGHWAY 50 .. right into the cliff..she was killed , she too never filed with dr , nor told DMV either { a car dealer ship told my husband & myself this ..
    heres one thing , too the many reasons why many drs dont really , want to fill out the forms they are afraid of any malpractice suit , by saying , you are on these meds , & controlled by meds ,{ dmv , & also , my drs , told me this .. } heres another thing too , being pot is also an issues , { many , are thinking it will help , in seizures , if stopped , for any reason , they can also do blood work , charge you , with DWI , LOST OF LICENSE .. even the state of CO , was thinking bout this .. still in courts ..


    Comment by Cathy Eliza Flowers — July 27, 2013 @ 11:39 AM

  17. Cathy, you had epilepsy and CANCER and all they cared about was you walking across the floor without a cane.


    Good for you for advocating for yourself, threatening to report them and have their medical license revoked.

    I’m sure that got there attention!

    Cathy, you’re a brave example to us all.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 29, 2013 @ 12:54 PM

    • yes i did .. one thing many , esp my drs which treat me , stand up to them . even , after i recd the ssi/d , told my mom , she came out & mention after all these yrs , what happen , i told her stood up to them.. { sorry it was long , but , had to tell my story .. hope many , who gives up , on it , { the system } wont ,..stand up & fight for whats theirs


      Comment by Cathy Eliza Flowers — July 29, 2013 @ 1:49 PM

    • I was seizure free over 30+yrs until new Dr. came in,oe Retire after 30+yrs. He was sooo kind/helpful,helped me start new career;Dr was right by side when my Mom passed away,kept checking up,seeing if i need anything. New Dr. come by,switch me from Dilantin to Keppra-SEIZURE! As of yet,NO WORK,NO COLLECT SS,just sit home go crazy! ED


      Comment by Ed Hricak — July 31, 2013 @ 8:35 AM

  18. You are correct. It IS your legal right.

    Maybe this link will help:

    Social Security Claims — Winning Secrets



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 29, 2013 @ 2:12 PM

  19. Ed, to find your local government officials, simply go to

    Key in your zip code, and you will find the names of ALL of your elected officials.

    You’ll find “Contact” information on the top of the page.

    CALL them, don’t email, because the email will go directly into the “spam” file. (I know this from experience.)

    Or else, arrange an appointment with them and bring all of your papers.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 4, 2013 @ 3:01 PM

    • Contacted govt. official,they are stuck in same exact spot-DR.-wont release info. about anything.   Ed



      Comment by lckyedd — August 6, 2013 @ 12:07 PM

    • hi Phylis,you will love this: I called the Local Goverment-MAYOR-in city i live in to see about getting assistance-HIS REPLY:I DONT WANT TO GET INVOLVED!! Guess i will need to contact man himself-that is if he says he really is-about getting assistance. I dont know what kind of world we live in. I paid disability insurance/coverage-was part of taxes taken out of pay when i was working,to cover me in case i couldnt work anymore. Now i am not even entitled to it. Some world we live in. Ed


      Comment by Ed Hricak — August 7, 2013 @ 11:22 AM

      • OMG , ED… i would make , sure if he is running again for 2nd term , to either show up with a sign , { if he was for disabilty rights } that he is not .. i get tired of these goverment ,fools stating they are for rights of the disabiled , then lies ….try legal aid .. to help ..


        Comment by Cathy Eliza Flowers — August 7, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

      • ED,
        Having tried your best to resolve the problem with patience, reasonable time & due process, CUT THE CHASE, drag the corrupt system to court.

        Contact a Lawyer who would represent your BEST interest for FREE & shake your Doctor, the bureaucrats & politicians,,, to respond immediately, before pursuing further legal litigation for your CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS in court of law.

        Contact The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights



        Wishing you all the best.


        Comment by Gerrie — August 7, 2013 @ 6:29 PM

      • Ed,,, Try LEGAL AID FOR FREE & The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights champions the legal rights of people of color, poor people, immigrants and refugees, with a special commitment to …



        Comment by Gerrie — August 7, 2013 @ 6:37 PM

  20. Call the President


    Comments: 202-456-1111
    Switchboard: 202-456-1414

    Write a letter to the President

    Here are a few simple things you can do to make sure your message gets to the White House as quickly as possible.

    1. If possible, email us! This is the fastest way to get your message to President Obama.

    2. If you write a letter, please consider typing it on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. If you hand-write your letter, please consider using pen and writing as neatly as possible.

    3. Please include your return address on your letter as well as your envelope. If you have an email address, please consider including that as well.

    4. And finally, be sure to include the full address of the White House to make sure your message gets to us as quickly and directly as possible:

    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 6, 2013 @ 12:53 PM

  21. Are the rules different if I am applying for a dependent child (under 18 years old) who has epilepsy?


    Comment by Michelle — August 21, 2013 @ 6:31 PM

    • Depends , on what the parents make , if under a certain amount, { forgot how much it is }, but in California believe its 1700.00 month / yrly ukn ..its different from state -state could be higher in one state , than other { ie: southern states , wages are lowered } , check the C.O.L.A. for your state wage wise .. had a friend who was trying to get ssi/d for her son , had to send in paystubs from her husbands checks , { atty , for bankruptcy } , one month , rec’d 100.00 , following month rec’d 1.00 because , he had more income .. { the son involved , had Autism & seizures , non-verbal , } hope this helps you .. also Michelle , get drs paperwork up , drugs , blood work liver / kidney tests / workup , the more drs reports , the better chances


      Comment by Cathy Flowers — October 27, 2017 @ 9:46 AM

      • Thanks lots, Cathy.

        I would only add to get a disability attorney to review your case.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 27, 2017 @ 9:50 AM

  22. I honestly don’t know. I would suggest you contact Ram Meyyappan — Social Security Disability Help directly. ram@ssd-help.org


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 21, 2013 @ 7:18 PM

  23. My daughter been having seizures since she was 2, she is now going on 5 they occur like every three months apart. I applied for ssi but she was denied. Is there anyway she could be awarded benefits from social security?


    Comment by Tiffany Griffin — November 14, 2016 @ 4:08 PM

    • Tiffany , get your daughters pedi dr { nuro & pedi } to write letters , to SSI /D, you may , also , if necessary see if your congressman / woman in your area , have a heart for those with disabilities .. { i really dont do this , but sometimes it helps ..i know ours in Sacramento does , also help many vets .. } .. but with SSI , you , have 3 tries , with them , then their drs , would test her/ him , just keep on filing appeals with them .. & must be with in that 60 day periods .. also , bring in any school work , teachers reports , if shes in Special Ed , also get the schools report on what grade level she is at .. also , could , be on whos working too , too much money bring home , may want to check the award / denied letter from SSI ..sometimes , they go on what each parent , brings home , must be in the states COLA stats .. heres what we had to deal with , being both my husband & myself on ssi/d , we wanted to go on medi-cal .. being , both of us , made over a certain amount , { 950.00 } we couldnt get medi-cal , we would have to either be separated ,or divorced , then , we could get it , but , we would of hads to pay a Share of Cost .. which was 1250.00 .. which was how much my husband got from his SSI/d .. i yelled at the judge telling him , thats insane ,because housing alone is outrageous , just in California .. so may , either work part time , if possible .. let me know on what happens & check the denial letter again .. reapply again too .. Take care Cathy


      Comment by Cathy Flowers — November 14, 2016 @ 7:11 PM

  24. The only thing I know of is Social Security Benefits for Children with Disabilities.

    Here’s the link:



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 14, 2016 @ 5:27 PM

  25. I never thought in a million years of applying for disability. I used to discredit some people I knew of that were on disability and seemed like they could work if they wanted to.
    All my life I’ve had days where I didn’t feel good. I chalked it up to not sleeping well or being ill or something. About 7 years ago, I was diagnosed with nocturnal epilepsy. Apparently, I was born with posterior arachnoid cyst. It’s about the size of my fist. Also, I found out I have congenital hydrocephalus. A couple years ago (when they decided that might be a cause) I got an LP (NOT FUN). My csf pressure was twice the norm. First they tried fenestration, that surgery messed up my cerebellum. I spent 6 months learning to walk (balance issues). My balance therapist told my wife that he didn’t think I’d ever walk right again.

    Anyhoo, after fenestration din’t work I got a VP shunt. Between that and meds, my seizure have been mostly under control. But, I still have one about 3 -4 times a month. When I wake after a seizure, all day I’m tired groggy, nauseous, hard time concentrating, easily confused, sound sensitive, light sensitive, balance is off, difficult impulse control, mild panic/ anxiety attacks, occasional paranoia.

    Okay, I know it’s a no no, but I drive to work. I really haven’t had a seizure while awake except the occasional absent seizure. I find if I make a conscious effort to stay focused that isn’t an issue. And, I need to make money. One day after a seizure, I was just off. Kinda like listening to a band and one instrument just isn’t in time with everyone else. I have difficulty staying in a pattern. Anyhoo, I was heading to work and realized I forgot my lunch. I turned around. When turning onto the highway, I turned into oncoming traffic. I didn’t realize it until a car came head on.

    Between that, my job requirements, and my work history; my wife is pushing for me to try to get on disability.
    My problem is, where do I start???
    How do I go from working to disability?
    Do I just quit?
    Do I get my neuro to put me on restriction where I can;t work?
    What proof do I need?
    I have had a few physical injuries (some still bother me after a seizure).
    Anyhoo, I’m an officer at a prison, my work history is mostly factory work….
    Any suggestions/ help would be helpful..
    Oh yeah, and my neuro just recently moved out of state.
    I’m in limbo with a neuro. But, I can get paperwork. And hopefully, when I get a new neuro hopefully they’ll be helpful.


    Comment by Kevin — October 13, 2017 @ 8:20 PM

    • If you work, it proves you don’t need SSD or SSI. Because it means that you CAN work, so you’ll be denied.

      You could get your neuro to put you on restriction or a “not able to work order, but I don’t know if that would help, since you’ve proven you can work before.

      Best idea is to consult a disability attorney and see what your chances are. They’ll be honest. Because if you don’t have a chance, they don’t have a chance of making any money.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 14, 2017 @ 9:20 AM

      • That’s my issue. Like I said, I have bad days. And, they are getting more frequent. How would I go from working to not due to a disability. Do I just up and quit? Do I get on restriction? I’m already on a restriction to overnight duty due to the fact that it’s less hectic (less confusing). But, even that is getting worse.
        I’m not looking at getting on disability as a means of not working. When I was out regaining balance so I could walk, it was driving me crazy not working. Knowing they’re shorthanded at my job and I wasn’t there doing my part (even if it was just filling a space).
        But, I’m starting to be honest with myself. That this illness is causing a lot of difficulties. Difficulty walking, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, difficulty controlling temper, difficulty with impulse control, difficulty controlling emotion, headaches, recurring shoulder injuries (dislocation), lost feeling, the tendancy to wonder and the list goes on. Some days my wife says I wake up with a glassy look in my eye, those days when I slept for 8 – 9 hours and feel like I just went to bed.
        Some days I feel I just “put on a show.” I show up, sit in my office and get out when I absolutely have to. But, nobody knows but me (and the inmates I babysit).
        I feel like nobody understands how difficult this can be. It’s eating me up that I’m even considering disability. But on those bad days, it feels like I have no other choice. I really shouldn’t be in this environment. And I definitely shouldn’t be working around heavy machinery.
        And, my neurologist was suprised I wasn’t on disability when I started seeing her 4 years ago. She really didn’t like the fact that I was driving.
        Anyhoo, long story short… anyone here on disability with any advice?
        Do I just quit? Do I consult a disability lawyer? (But the fact that I’m working will basically disqualify me) Do I wait for my job to catch on to my “show” and fire me? Does my neurologist have to put so many restrictions on me that I can’t work?
        This is all getting overwhelming….


        Comment by Kevin — October 19, 2017 @ 11:01 PM

      • If you quit, you don’t have a chance of getting disability. Consulting a disability lawyer would be a good first step though, to consider your next move and what you would have to do to qualify.

        Your job can’t just fire you without “reasonable accommodation” according to the ADA.

        Epilepsy, Employment and the Law


        If your neurologist puts restrictions on you, that may prove you have limited capabilities, but you probably would be moved to a less taxing job.

        In all, I would suggest consulting a lawyer about your eligibility and, if you want to work from home, you might consider these options.

        10 Companies Hiring for Jobs You Can Do at Home


        I hope this helps.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 20, 2017 @ 9:47 AM

      • I’ve looked into other jobs where I work. They either require a college degree or are more hectic than my current position. They don’t offer “light duty”. And, they don’t have part time positions.
        But, for right now I’m in the market for a neurologist. My regular doctor has a few for me to try. I’ll start there. Maybe they can get me on different meds that help. Maybe a fresh battery of tests. Then I’ll try talking to a lawyer.
        If I stay where I am both condition wise and job wise; I’ll probably wind up getting fired for not doing my job to the fullest or I’ll wind up getting hurt or worse.
        Pretty much on bad days it’s like I’ve had no sleep. And, I feel like I’ve been beat up. And, I feel half drunk. Not a good combination to be working in a prison. I’m fortunate that where I work it is pretty much laid down. I usually have no issues. But, the possibility is there.
        And, looking at my job history. Most of those jobs are working around heavy machinery or multitasking jobs. I don’t multitask well on good days anymore, let alone on bad days.
        The bad thing about nocturnal epilepsy is it’s like regular epilepsy (no drop seizures) and insomnia.
        Anyhoo, thanks for the help. And, I’ve found a few sites that help.
        One is a disability lawyer. Telling me it is really difficult to get on disability with epilepsy even with doctor restrictions. Especially since I am working. GRRRRR!!! That is what I was asking him. I’m sure not everyone on disability never worked. They had to go from working to not working.
        One is someone with nocturnal epilepsy that is on disability. They told me that just quitting is a disability no no..That I should talk to my neuro and let him basically decide what restricions I should be on. Then see if there are any jobs I can do. If not, then I should qualify. And depending on how much those other jobs pay I may still qualify.
        This is all getting overwhelming.
        I guess we’ll see what happens.
        Thanks for the help.
        Any job suggestions that would be epilepsy friendly. My main issues are being tired, confused, migraines, body aches, impulse control (mostly anger easy. cursing/ I never curse usually), balance and depth perception.


        Comment by Kevin — October 20, 2017 @ 9:05 PM

      • Kevin, unfortunately your lawyer is right.

        But perhaps a new neurologist and up-to-date diagnostic testing will put you in a different place.

        While I sincerely doubt this, it’s worth a try.

        It’s just so unfair that you have to suffer, just because you “appear” to be healthy. (Nocturnal seizures will do this, with their stealthy silence.)


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 20, 2017 @ 9:59 PM

      • That’s like today. I had a seizure last night. I feel like I’ve been beat up. My back and ribs hurt. I have a mild headache. But, it hurt to concentrate. It’s hard to stay focused on what I am doing. I’m dizzy, I even lost a filling (luckily it was from a root canal and doesn;t raelly hurt).


        Comment by Kevin — October 20, 2017 @ 11:30 PM

      • Oh Kevin, I really feel for you. Are you any better today?

        If you’re having Nocturnal Seizures, this article may interest you:

        The Nightmare of Nocturnal Seizures


        Hope you’re feeling better.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2017 @ 8:43 AM

  26. Today is better. I still have some mild post seizure symptoms. Mild dizzy (mainly if I turn quickly). Slight nausea. Really mild anxiety attacks (but they are still there). Difficulty concentrating (It’s like something isn’t quite right; I always says it’s like listening to a band and one instrument is half a beat off), I’m emotional (that’s not unusual the day after; I get teary eyed for nothing), I’m still a little tired (not too bad). My “filter” is working. I’m not cussing or getting made at the drop of a hat. And, I’ve been pushed a couple times (not physically). My balance is much better. Pressure in my head (But, that may be because of storms, that’s not unusual)
    Like I’ve said these are usual second day symptoms. Unless I had a really bad seizure. Or I had a second seizure the next night.

    These seizures only happen maybe once a week. At least once every 2 weeks. But, the day of a seizure is a killer. I have a hard time even getting out of bed. Good thing I have walls to balance with on the way to the bathroom.

    I’m lucky when these days fall on my days off. But, it doesn’t always work that way.

    Ok, I was reading that it’s helpful to see a doctor after a seizure. Try to get a EEG for proof of a seizure. Do I just go to the ER? That can get expensive really quickly. Are there programs to get assistance with co-pays in the USA?

    My GP has a line of patients he has scheduled everyday. I don’t have a neuro right now, but the one I had before had lake a 3 month waiting list

    My GP can attest to my serious physical injuries. IE Dislocated shoulder, bruised ribs, etc. But, the minor ones the morning after have no official documentation.

    .Thanks for talking to me;
    I know there are plenty of sites out there for people with seizure disorders


    Comment by Kevin — October 21, 2017 @ 7:51 PM

  27. My regular doctor is working on finding me a neurologist/ epileptologist. But, in our state, most of the neurologist work on the spine. And there are few eplieptologists.
    I have good medical insurance. But, the copays add up. Especially when you have 2-3 meds for epilepsy. And, meds for other conditions. Office visits/ driving to neurologist. My problem mainly is getting documentation when I do have a seizure. I am looking into talking to a disability lawyer for thoughts on this.
    Between that and getting a new neurologist maybe I’ll have some good fotrune.


    Comment by Kevin — October 26, 2017 @ 9:59 PM

  28. They denied my wife’s first try
    She has had 14 grand malls in 31 months and has Crohn’s
    We will seek an attorney


    Comment by EZ Zuckerman — October 6, 2018 @ 9:32 AM

  29. I have looked into SocSec disability. But, I’m still working. My problem is, there are many days that I feel that I shouldn’t be working. Either it’s post effects of a seizure ie brain fog, forgetfulness, dizziness, confusion, sore joints (my shoulders have been dislocated). That’s not to mention emotional stuff that get set off.
    But, I can’t afford to not work for 6 months waiting to get approved. And I hear all of these stories of people with acute issues that are denied. But, there are those that seem perfectly capable that get on disability without any problem.
    So, I go to work. I probably but myself and others in harm by doing so. But, what choice do I have?


    Comment by Kevin A Stufflebeam — October 6, 2018 @ 8:25 PM

  30. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget side effects from medications.


    Comment by Kevin A Stufflebeam — October 6, 2018 @ 8:25 PM

  31. First and foremost, I would consider hiring a lawyer.

    If that doesn’t work, the best way to cut off the SSA/SSI bureaucratic nightmare is get your Congressman or Senator involved on your behalf.

    In the meantime, this link might help:

    10 Companies Hiring for Jobs You Can Do at Home



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 7, 2018 @ 12:22 AM

  32. I lost my job almost two months ago now due to the side effects of the Keppra my employer essentially insisted that I take and am in a steady decline of losing everything because of it and my employer had the nerve to deny my unemployment. I just don’t know what to do anymore.


    Comment by Jesse — November 28, 2018 @ 9:13 PM

    • Get an attorney through your local Epilepsy Foundation.

      You could also speak with the protection and advocacy staff of the state human rights commission, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), or a social worker who specializes in employment issues.

      Also find out about the ADA. (American with Disabilities Act.)

      It applies to all employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor-management committees in which at least 15 employees work for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks.

      The ADA excludes the federal government or other employers that receive a certain level of federal support (because they are subject to other similar regulations), as well as Indian tribes and private-membership clubs that are exempt from taxation.

      Title I of the ADA provides that people with disabilities cannot be excluded from employment unless they are unable to perform the essential requirements of the job.

      But I would suggest human resources first, your local Epilepsy Foundation second, a lawyer third and the ADA fourth.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 29, 2018 @ 9:43 AM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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