Accommodating Employees With Epilepsy
The ADA requires employers to provide adjustments or modifications — called reasonable accommodations — to enable applicants and employees with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities unless doing so would be an undue hardship . Accommodations vary depending on the needs of the individual with a disability. Not all employees with epilepsy will need an accommodation or require the same accommodations, and most of the accommodations a person with epilepsy might need will involve little or no cost. An employer must provide a reasonable accommodation that is needed because of the epilepsy itself, the effects of medication, or both. For example, an employer may have to accommodate an employee who is unable to work while undergoing diagnostic tests to determine the reason for her seizures or because of the side effects of medication. An employer, however, has no obligation to monitor an employee’s medical treatment or to make sure she is getting enough rest or taking medication as prescribed.
10. What other types of reasonable accommodations may employees with epilepsy need?
Some employees may need one or more of the following accommodations:
- breaks to take medication
- leave to seek or recuperate from treatment or adjust to medication22
- a private area to rest after having a seizure
- a rubber mat or carpet to cushion a fall
- adjustments to a work schedule
- a consistent start time or a schedule change
- a checklist to assist in remembering tasks
When Can I Get Disability Benefits For Epilepsy
Adults who suffer from some form of epilepsy may be eligible for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income . The disability benefits that you apply for will be based on whether or not youve ever worked and paid into the Social Security system.
In Social Securitys disability listingcommonly called the Blue Bookthere are two different epilepsy conditions that can be eligible for benefits.
The first qualifying type of disability is tonic-clonic seizures. If you experience tonic-clonic seizure, you will need to suffer a seizure at least one time every four months and the seizure must affect either your motor functioning, your cognitive abilities or your ability to interact with other people.
The other qualifying seizure condition is known as dyscognitive seizures. With dyscognitive seizures, you will need to suffer an episode at least once every other week for a period that must be at least three months. To qualify for benefits, your dyscognitive seizures need to negatively affect your ability to understand and communicate, your emotional control, your concentration and your ability to perform physical activities.
Does Epilepsy Qualify For Disability
It depends on your exact case, but some people with epilepsy will qualify for disability. Youll need to file for benefits, which a claims examiner, and possibly a medical consultant, will go over. Some things that will be under scrutiny include:
- Diagnosis of epilepsy
- Detailed treatment history including treatments and medications
- Descriptions of your typical seizures and all symptoms before and after the occurrence
- Results of an EEG
- A doctors statement to your frequency of seizures and how they manifest
- A third-party individuals description of your seizures
- Records of the frequency of past seizures
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Social Security Disabilitys Definition Of Epilepsy For Arkansans
Under the SSAs listing of disabilities, epilepsy, first of all, requires documented seizures. This could mean that you need to see a doctor about your seizures or even undergo a study or monitoring before the doctor can confirm you have had a seizure. This could be part of your medical diagnosis, but if it is not, you might need additional testing to show the SSA you do indeed have epilepsy.
In addition to having a documented seizure, you must be able to show that you meet certain levels of frequency with your seizures. If you have generalized tonic-clonic seizures, you will usually meet the SSAs definition if you have at least one per month for at least three months in a row. If you have dyscognitive seizures, you will meet the definition if you have at least one per week for at least three months in a row. These seizures must also come despite the fact that you are following your doctors prescribed treatments. Missed treatments or skipping your meds might make it harder to prove your condition meets the SSAs standards.
Alternatively, if your seizures are more spaced out, you can meet the SSAs strict definition by proving other symptoms. If your generalized tonic-clonic seizures occur once every other month for at least four months or if your dyscognitive seizures occur once every other week for at least three months then you can still get coverage if you have a marked limitation in at least one of these factors:
- Movement/body functions
Qualifying For Epilepsy Disability Benefits
To qualify under this listing, you must provide a detailed description of your child’s seizures from a physician who has observed the types of seizures your child experiences. This must include one of the following:
- Generalized tonic-clonic seizures that occur at least once a month for three consecutive months despite following prescribed treatment
- Focal dyscognitive seizures or absence seizures that occur at least once a week for three consecutive months despite following prescribed treatment
When counting the number of seizures your child has, the SSA will consider:
- Multiple seizures that occur in one 24-hour period as one seizure
- A continuous series of seizures during which the child does not regain consciousness between each as one seizure
- A dyscognitive seizure that develops into a generalized tonic-clonic seizure as one generalized tonic-clonic seizure
The SSA considers a patient to have followed prescribed treatment if he or she has taken medication or followed other treatments prescribed by a physician. If your child’s condition continues despite following his or her doctor’s orders, he or she has met this requirement for the listing.
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Three: Gather Tax Info Work History And Prepare To Fill Out The Application
The Social Security disability application also requires more technical requirements in order for an applicant to be approved. This information not only gives further insight into your lifestyle, but can also help determine which Social Security program you qualify for.
Tax information allows the SSA to see the amount of money you have contributed to Social Security in prior years. If a person has contributed enough money to Social Security in their working years, then they may qualify for Social Security disability insurance .
Work history is also provided to demonstrate what types of work you have experience in as well as when/if you stopped working. This will help the SSA determine whether or not you may be able to find less demanding work elsewhere instead of receiving monthly government payments.
In addition, if a person has no work history then this helps the SSA determine their qualifications under Supplemental Security Income instead. The SSA will then try to find which benefits are the best fit for that particular situation.
Is Epilepsy A Physical Or Mental Disability
This condition is classified as a neurological disorder because it directly affects the brain. This can result in frequent seizures, which are considered a physical problem, not a mental health issue. However, epilepsy interferes with your ability to work and perform activities of daily living, which is why you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
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Failure To Make Reasonable Adjustments
Reasonable adjustments are changes that employers are expected to makeso that a person with a disability is not put at a disadvantage. For example, time off work for medical appointments could be recorded separately from sick leave. If an employer refuses to make reasonable adjustments without a justifiable reason, their employee is at a disadvantage.
Qualifying For Ssd: Can You Get Disability For Epilepsy
Having seizures can leave many people tired, sore, and unable to work for days at a time. The threat of seizures can also make it dangerous to work, especially for jobs that require you to be on your feet. While medication is effective for some people, it often comes at a high cost.
Luckily, disability benefits can provide financial relief for many individuals with epilepsy. If you are diagnosed with epilepsy and cannot work for at least 12 months, youre a good candidate for benefits. Read this blog to learn how you can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
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How To Apply For Disability Benefits For Epilepsy
Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the U.S. People of all ages can be affected by epilepsy, which can cause unpredictable seizures as well as other health problems. While it is definitely possible to live a normal life with this disorder, others have more severe and continuous symptoms that make working and living difficult.
Fortunately, for those in this position, disability benefits may be able to help. Social Security disability benefits are funded by the government and are designed to help people in need. Continue below to see how your epilepsy may qualify.
Is Epilepsy Classified As A Disability
Some people with epilepsy can manage their condition well with medications, allowing them to live a relatively normal life. These individuals choose not to identify themselves as having a disability.
Despite this, the United States Social Security Administration considers epilepsy a neurological disability when specific criteria are met. This criterion includes regular occurring seizures over a few months that cannot be controlled with medication or when epilepsy causes impairment in daily life.
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How Do I Apply For Disability Benefits For Seizures
To apply for Disability benefits, you must answer questions about all the ways epilepsy affects your daily routine. The SSA only approves those it considers totally disabled, so you should document recurring debilitating symptoms and gather medical records as evidence.
You can fill out the paperwork on your own, but the process may be overwhelming. If you think you may qualify for Disability payments, speaking to one of our Social Security attorneys at the Disability Help Group in Arizona could be beneficial. We assist clients with filling out the SSDI application to give you the best chance at SSA approval.
How Does Ssa Evaluate Seizures & What Are The Medical Qualifications
The Social Security Administration evaluates seizures and other neurological impairments according to the requirements in the Blue Book or the SSAs official listing of disabling conditions.
To qualify for benefits based on a seizure disorder, you must have medical evidence documenting at least one seizure that occurred within the last year, despite treatment. Suppose you have not had an attack in the previous year.
You may still qualify for benefits if you have a medically determined risk of having another seizure and your condition stops you from taking part in a substantial gainful activity .
To be found disabled, you must have a inability for physical functioning and earn a living due to seizures or other neurological impairments. When evaluating your claim, the SSA will consider
- The type of seizures you experience
- How often they occur
- Any associated symptoms, and
- How well your condition is controlled by medication.
The SSA will also consider any other impairments you may have that contribute to your overall disability.
Suppose you think you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits based on a seizure disorder. In that case, it is essential to gather as much medical evidence as possible to document the frequency, severity, and effects of your seizures. This can include records from your treating physician, neurologist, and any hospitalizations or emergency room visits related to your condition.
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There Are Two Types Of Focal Seizures:
- Focal onset aware seizure. The person is conscious during the seizure which usually lasts less than two minutes, although they may not be able to respond to people while the seizure is occurring. They may have difficulty speaking, involuntarily move an arm or leg, or see flashing lights.
- Focal onset impaired seizure. The person may become unconscious and may perform repetitive actions like hand rubbing, or walk in circles without being aware.
What Evidence Do You Need To Submit To Support Your Claim For Disability Benefits For Epilepsy
Social Security requires both medical and non-medical evidence to assess the effects of your epilepsy.
Medical evidence should include your medical history, examination findings, relevant laboratory tests, and the results of imaging, such as x-ray, computerized tomography , magnetic resonance imaging , and electroencephalography . It can also include descriptions of any prescribed treatment and your response to it.
Non-medical evidence can include statements you or others make about your impairments, your restrictions, your daily activities, or your efforts to work.
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Get Experienced Epilepsy Disability Help In Pennsylvania
Navigating the SSDI or SSI application process on your own can be frustrating and time-consuming. About two-thirds of applications are denied, and the approval rate is even lower for applications submitted for reconsideration. If you or someone you love has epilepsy, get the support and representation you need. Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC is standing by to assist you.
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Is Epilepsy Considered A Disability
Epilepsy is considered a disability and it has a listing in the Social Security Administration Blue Book. For epilepsy to qualify for disability benefits, it must meet the criteria of the Blue Book listing.
There are different listings for epilepsy in the Blue Book. One is for convulsive seizures, which is listing 11.02.
You must show that you suffer daytime seizures that cause you to lose consciousness or convulse or have nighttime seizures that cause severe daytime complications, such as difficulty staying awake, physical movement coordination, or thinking clearly.
Listing 11.03 is for non-convulsive epilepsy, and you must experience seizures either during the night or day and that you suffer pronounced issues after each seizure, which could include difficulty thinking, unusual behaviors, fatigue, or other activities to interrupt your activities during the day.
To qualify through this listing, besides meeting the requirements you must also continue to have a seizure at least weekly despite having taken anti-seizure drugs for at least three months.
The Blue Book has difficult to understand language that is technical and medical in nature. The book was written for medical experts, so you should talk with your treating physician to determine if you meet the criteria of a listing.
You should ask your physician to complete a residual functional capacity form, which is a detailed form that tells what you can and cannot do.
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Can I Get Disability Benefits For Epilepsy In Arkansas
We Fight for Injured Victims in Arkansas Every Single Day
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that with more than 200,000 cases per year in the U.S. Many people with epilepsy can have very mild or infrequent symptoms, and medication could be enough to allow them to go about their day without serious interruptions. But many with epilepsy especially those who developed the condition after a serious brain injury cannot work to support themselves because of how severe their epilepsy is. Because of this, epilepsy is one of the listed disabilities that you can seek disability benefits for in Arkansas. Fayetteville, AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak explains how you can claim Social Security Disability benefits for epilepsy and what you need to do to qualify.
How The Process Works
The government fears that people will exaggerate their medical problems in order to get free money. So it puts every applicant under a microscope. To win, you have to prove beyond a doubt that your medical condition is severe and disabling.
There are two major stages in the process, and most people will need to go through both:
Unfortunately, the process takes time: 3-6 months to get an initial decision, and 1-2 years to get a hearing. Even a small mistake or omission can doom an application. The good news is that once you win even if it takes a long time and several appeals you get back pay for the time you should have been getting benefits.
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Weve Served Pennsylvania For 100 Years
If you suffer from epilepsy and have recurring seizures, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income . Epilepsy is a serious condition that can have a dramatic impact on every area of your life, including your ability to work and make a living.
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we have served clients across Pennsylvania since 1922. Applying for SSDI and SSI is not simple, but with the right support and counsel, you can pursue the benefits that are rightfully yours. Our Social Security disability lawyers know how to deal with the Social Security Administration and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination . We can help you properly prepare and file your application, along with medical evidence and documentation, to seek approval. If your claim was already denied, we can help with an appeal. We can even help you pursue backpay for past-due benefits.
No matter your needs, you can count on our experience and knowledge to guide you through. Call or contact us online for epilepsy SSDI and SSI help in Pennsylvania!