Epilepsy Talk

Epilepsy — Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits — Straight from the Source | March 24, 2019

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 behavior 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


To subscribe to Epilepsy Talk and get the latest articles, simply go to the bottom box of the right column, enter your email address and click on “Follow”



  1. Reblogged this on jennyme306's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jennyme306 — March 24, 2019 @ 2:08 PM

  2. In all reality where it comes to getting any SSDI every month, you will never win it on your own in front of any judge. It is their way that the lawyers & judges work together to steal more money from the person trying to get SSDI, no matter if you have 1 seizure a month or 2 or 3, or 1 seizure every hour you’re living. It’s all a scam as I had to give away 25% what I had coming to me from being back pay from day 1 when I applied. They could had approved my case on day 1, but NO WAY, as I remember it was 18 months or more that I had a lawyer fight my case for me after 14 months of trying to do it alone. It took at least 6 more months for the lawyer to win my case as he was adding the numbers up for what HE WANTED after waiting almost 2 years to get approved. So if a lawyer can get close to $3000.00 or more to win, then that is the only way you will get SSDI & the judges get a part of that I am sure, as the same condition is on day 1 as on day when you are not approved, as on day 730 or more 2 years later when you do get approved.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by C D — March 24, 2019 @ 3:00 PM

  3. Been there; done that- I was rejected six times before I finally got my disability. I feel for anyone having problems

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Karen — March 24, 2019 @ 6:02 PM

  4. How did you ever make it through all that? AND win?

    Sheer perseverance? And hopefully a lawyer?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 24, 2019 @ 8:14 PM

  5. I applied 4 times had my neurologists backing me up.Appllied 1 year ago for medicade again doctors baking me up,I got turned down.GOT a lawyer it took a year.MY disability is getting ready to kick in along with medicade have been trying to get it since 2013.GOT a lawyer and now I’m going to get it.But I personally don’t think we should have to get a lawyer I think it’s crazy

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Angela carter — March 24, 2019 @ 9:15 PM

    • Not only is it crazy. It’s criminal.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 25, 2019 @ 9:09 AM

    • took me close to 20 yrs , after I changed drs wrote a letter , even had an unemployment lawyer there too via SSI.. even had pictures of my L eye with stiches , ( nearly lost it in Retail ) one employer even came out & told me , I am more than a liabilty than an asset to the company ( yet I won more awards & rec’d more complements) & yet I ended up, being a libilty ? to this day I dont even shop that store any more.. UI didnt want to retrain me , either yes letters from drs , xrays , any scans would help , even SSI , will have their own drs too , bring it there too ..

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Cathy Flowers — April 6, 2023 @ 11:11 AM

  6. It took me two years and two different lawyers to get mine back in 1996. Mine was was finally approved by the JAG( yes that was his title) without have to actually go to the judge.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Randy — March 24, 2019 @ 11:05 PM

  7. One wonders, if the Doctors & hospitals consider the patient’s persistent medical condition disabling, why does the patient need a lawyer or a judge to “CERTIFY” the patients medical condition, eventhough neither the Lawyer nor the judge are medical experts?
    If there’s any suspicions for fraudulent claims, how’s for the patients medical records good enough for evidence to prove the patients medical condition, instead of Lawyers or judges who know nothing about the patient’s medical condition?
    It’s hard to imagine the Lawyer & the Judge got more power to decide on the Patient’s fate than the Doctors who’ve been & still are working hard to treat the Patients medical condition.
    Something is definitely wrong here.
    As for the patients employment history, it’s a whole different subject to ponder.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — March 25, 2019 @ 7:44 AM

    • Yes, it is odd that the legal systems should know more about the patient’s condition and WELFARE than the doctors.

      And that they can rule on the validity of that! 😦


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 25, 2019 @ 9:12 AM

      • In some cases, I read patients die or lose their homes to pay medical bills, waiting for years for the bureaucratic sharks to approve the patients MEDICARE or/& SSDI income, after paying substantial tax to the system for decades.
        I think submissive society is to blame for letting the bureaucratic sharks run astray.
        And without radical changes to the bureaucratic nightmare, many more lives will hang in the balance, waiting for medical treatment & economic stability.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — March 25, 2019 @ 10:51 AM

  8. Unfortunately, you’re too right.

    I’ve even read about people committing suicide from the
    stress and lack of meds.

    To get your meds or to eat?

    That is some people’s dilemma.

    And it’s unforgivable.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 25, 2019 @ 10:56 AM

  9. Luckily I had a dr who had put me in the hospital to find out that I was a severe epileptic and told me to file for SSDI. With his help and the help of a disability attorney, I won it the first go around.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by dkeith48 — March 27, 2019 @ 12:44 AM

  10. Four days *after marrying, I carried my marriage certificate to the Social Security Office for two reasons:
    1. Change my name.
    2. Change my address.

    I THOUGHT they would have liked this information to put on my checks and send me to the correct address. The man said to me: “From this day, you will no longer be receiving any more Social Security *Disability Checks. Let your husband ‘take care of you,’ from now on. 🙂 Have a nice day.” That Was It! No More Income!
    “Job?” What job? Nobody would hire “somebody like me.” And I only have *Temporal Lobe Seizures, or “blackouts.” I get NO retirement. I seldom worked. My controlling husband didn’t care, anyway. No “help” from him. Within the past two years, I started getting retirement checks from *his retirement! Yeah!

    I could go on. But as I have learned, “It’s My Problem.” The thought of trying to contact Social Security for ANYTHING, with no support from someone else? No thank you. I go through enough stress just existing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Effie Erhardt — October 10, 2019 @ 10:57 PM

    • Well, that’s a little sexist, wouldn’t you say?

      Especially since you’re the one who’s disabled.

      But, I guess you triumphed in the end, with your husband’s retirement checks.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 11, 2019 @ 9:23 AM

      • Better than nothing. But it is used.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Effie Erhardt — October 22, 2019 @ 11:05 PM

  11. took me close to 20 yrs , went through Kaiser ,during that time , even asked one of my primary’s dr to sign paperwork , had a bad cold took a cough med, { with like 10 % alcohol , back in day , think they still use it } this dr , put in the drs report , that i was an alcoholic .. during the hearing got denied , asked what was the reason , the dr put down i was an alcoholic , told the judge HELL NO.. only thing i took was { told him the OTC med , even the package ., still denied , even went to personnel to report the dr .. , was sent to another primary .. i switched drs & health planed went with UCD , found a great dr , now retired .. but she noticed that paperwork wasnt in there , but , she even backup my blood work test , no drugs/ alcohol , .. stating i had seizures , may take certain amount of days to recover …{ employers , would add you & medical issues as a ” high risk ” or liability , instead of asset to company …couldnt climb ladders , food work , drive , even when i did get SSI/D even brought in someone from EDD .. even they asked what other works have i done , told them , those jobs were also out cause been too long of time frame .. .. also , SSI hires certain drs , residents , to try to try certain things/ Test : ie : if you can bend over touch your toes ,or untie your shoes they will ding you on that too .. ..
    didnt have to get a lawyer either .. , just read , a lot of reasons why they will deny,

    but in many cases if you even have ER visits , always get notes/ paperwork , note down all lab reports .. , and get letter from primary & neruo , any type of scans , x rays will help too

    heres another thing , remember the questions , on pain levels from 0-10 * never say 10 .. that means ER time , 9 would suffice

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Cathy Flowers — March 13, 2021 @ 9:57 AM

  12. My child have Epilepsy from birth she tatting medication from birth till now it 21 yrs it hard to read anything, like newspapers, books bt still learning at school bt hard to get disability grant the time was at 5 year of age it was having a grant antill 18 yrs of age the was starting the problem on her life every time they reject ed her😭😭😭😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Zandile Memela — June 11, 2021 @ 1:50 PM

    • I would strongly suggest you get a disability lawyer. They are well-versed in these things. And they take no money until you win the case.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 11, 2021 @ 3:35 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    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.

    View Full Profile →

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive free notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 3,269 other subscribers
    Follow Epilepsy Talk on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: