June 25, 2018

General Tips for Winning a Seizure Disability Case

If you experience petit mal seizures, is that considered a “listing” disease by Social Security’s standards? In other words, if you experience seizures, can you automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits by meeting a listing?

This is a question many seizure clients of mine have. They have read about something called the SSA Listings – which in essence are medical definitions/descriptions published by the SSA for certain physical impairments, including seizures. If you can meet the definition for the particular impairment at hand, you can automatically qualify for benefits. So, does this work for seizures?

Yes, seizure disorder is described as a listing disease. But to qualify for (or “meet”) the listing, it is recommended that you seek help from a treating doctor who can help to describe your seizures in terms understood by the SSA. In other words, you are likely to win if you can get your doctor to speak Social Security’s language.

The key to speaking the language of the SSA is to describe specific symptoms of your disease, and then to explain how these symptoms keep you from working. You should explain that your seizures cause fatigue, cause you to experience problems with concentration, and cause you to be disoriented, among other things.

Then, talk about how these symptoms keep you out of work. Your doctor can help make these types of connections as well. For example, you can say that as a result of your seizures, you are unable to work without feeling pain. This may include day-to-day housework, walking, bending, etc. You should be able to express that you are unable to be an effective or productive employee within the workplace because of the severity of your illness. Ask your treating doctor to classify specific activity limitations such as the following:

  • Lifting
  • Carrying
  • Walking
  • Standing
  • Sitting

You will greatly benefit in a seizure case if your treating doctor actually supports you or if your medical records detail the level of intensity of your medical problems. Hopefully, the information I provided for you in this post will give you an idea of how your seizure Disability case will be analyzed by the SSA.



  1. Rabern Trammell says:

    To use the “Listing” for Seizures do you have to have a EEG test done? I have Simple Partial seizures about 3 to 5 times a week and Complex Partial seizures 4 or 5 times a month with daily seizure type burst that can progress at any time. I have no pain after one unless I fall or go into convulsion (rarely occurs). I am out of it and dazed for a little while. I have been treated for them since birth and am 28 now. They got worse about 6 years ago. I have family and friends who can testify to the type and frequency. I go to a clinic and am on meds and have since Jan 2010 and levels are good but I still have them the same. I have 3 EEGs from my senior year in HS school from the specialist I was going to then. They are noted as likely normal but he told me most are normal thats why they do so many. I have been fired twice in the six years since they got worse. One job last 2 months where I blacked out about 10 times and had 1 with convulsions. They kept me on because of a friend there but eventually fired me. The other lasted a week and a half and I blacked out and the fired me for failure to tell them I had seizures at my physical through a letter which I have. Does this meet the Listing? Do I have a good case?

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