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Understanding epileptic seizure for adults seeking SSD benefits

For New Jersey residents who have epilepsy, it is possible to receive Social Security disability benefits if the epilepsy meets the criteria after the sufferer has been evaluated by the Social Security Administration. Epilepsy occurs when a person has seizures that happen on a recurring basis and are unprovoked. The seizures stem from abnormal electrical activity in the brain and vary in type from generalized and focal to partial. For adults, the two most frequent types of disabling seizures are generalized tonic-clonic and dyscognitive.

With seizures that are generalized tonic-clonic, the person will lose consciousness and then have what is known as the tonic phase. This is when the muscles suddenly tense and the person cannot maintain control of their posture. In the clonic phase, there will be muscular contractions and relaxation, alternatively referred to as convulsions. The person might bite their tongue or suffer from incontinence. There might be injuries after a fall.

Dyscognitive seizures do not have convulsions or loss of muscle control but will have an altered consciousness. The person might stare blankly, experience a changed facial expression, and have what are known as automatisms. Automatisms are chewing, swallowing, smacking of the lips, and other repetitive actions. This can progress and become a tonic-clonic seizure. The SSA will need to have a description of the seizures from another person. It is preferable that this be a medical professional who has seen the person have the seizures. If there is more than one type of seizure, then each type must be described.

These are the types of seizures that people who have epilepsy might have. There are other requirements linked to frequency and duration that must be met to receive SSD benefits because of this issue. For a person who has epilepsy, it is possible to meet the requirements for qualifying SSD benefits for illness. For more information and assistance in being approved, it is important to contact a legal professional experienced in Social Security disability for illness.

Source:, "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security," accessed on Jan. 23, 2017

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