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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Epileptic and Non-Epileptic Seizures?

CaveyLaw.com > Practice Areas  > Long Term Disability & ERISA Lawyer  > Long Term Disability Disabling Conditions > Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Epileptic and Non-Epileptic Seizures?

Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have seizures to get the disability benefits they deserve. A seizure occurs when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain; recurrent seizures are called epilepsy.

What Is An Epileptic Seizure?

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures, which occur when nerve cells or neurons in the brain send out the wrong signals. There is no known cause, though seizures can be triggered by brain injury, tumor, infection, stroke, withdrawal from Xanax and other medications, abuse of drugs or alcohol, low blood sugar, and even cancer.

There are two general types of seizures and many subtypes based on the pattern of the attack. A generalized seizure involves both sides of the brain; common subtypes include grand mal and petit mal seizures.

Partial or focal seizures begin in a specific area of the brain and can spread to the entire brain.

Epileptic seizures can range from brief to long periods of shaking; in about 70% of cases they are controlled by medication. It is not uncommon for disability carriers to deny payment of benefits on the basis that the seizure disorder is well controlled or that the seizures don’t occur often enough to be disabling.  The carrier will ignore the cognitive complications caused by seizures.

What Are The Common Symptoms?

It is not uncommon for epilepsy also to result in depression, anxiety disorder and migraines. Disability carriers often apply the mental nervous limitations of a policy and attempt to limit benefits to only 24 months.

The common symptoms include:

  • Staring spells,
  • Temporary confusion,
  • Uncontrolled jerking movements, and
  • Loss of consciousness.

What Is A Non-Epileptic Seizure?

A non-epileptic seizure (NES) or dissociative seizure is different from epilepsy because they have a different cause. NES can be caused by a physical or organic cause, including low blood sugar or diabetes, or by a psychological cause.

It is crucial to distinguish whether your non-epileptic seizures have an organic or a psychological cause. Many carriers apply the mental nervous limitation to seizures with mental or emotional causes. A psychogenic seizure can include:

  • Dissociative seizures. which happen unconsciously,
  • Panic attacks, which cause you to lose consciousness and even shake, and
  • Factitious seizures, where a person has some level of conscious control of himself or herself.

Dissociative seizures (DS) often are caused by traumatic events, including a major accident, several emotional upset, psychological stress, difficult relationships and physical or sexual abuse.

How Do Disability Carriers View Epileptic and Non-Epileptic Seizures?

Many disability claims for epileptic and non-epileptic seizures are denied because the disability insurance company says:

(1) There is no objective basis of the epilepsy diagnosis,

(2) There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician,

(3) There is no causal relationship between your epilepsy diagnosis and/or your restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation,

(4) The non-epileptic seizures are caused by psychological condition, and benefits are limited based on the mental nervous policy limitations.

Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, has successfully represented many policyholders with epileptic and non-epileptic seizures. She works to overcome a claims denial or termination by working closely with you and your physician.

Nancy Cavey offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your disability claim.

How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?

Epileptic and non-epileptic seizures can interfere with your daily activities and with your ability to work.

If you no longer can work or your doctor has told you to apply for disability benefits, you should take steps before you apply:

  1. Obtain a copy of your disability policy. See how it defines “disability,” “occupation” and “self-reported conditions.” You’ll need to understand what you have to prove and if there are limitations in your coverage.
  1. Obtain a copy of your medical records. Review them to see if there is an objective basis for your diagnosis, what your records say about your report of symptoms and your restrictions and limitations.
  1. Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see if your epileptic and non-epileptic seizures have affected your work performance.
  1. Obtain a copy of your job description. Create your own description of your physical duties with an explanation of how your symptoms impact your ability to do your occupation.
  1. Provide your doctor with the occupational description. Ask your doctor to prepare a report that explains the objective basis for your diagnosis, the objective basis of your restrictions and limitations, and the objective reasons you can’t perform some or all of the material and substantial duties of your occupation.
  1. Prepare a diary that explains and gives examples of how your symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis and the side effects of your medication.
  1. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you file your initial application. The application process is confusing and designed so you and your physician make mistakes that can result in a delay or even a denial of your benefits. Ms. Cavey knows how to prepare and file a winning shock and awe disability application that leaves the carrier little reason to question your claim.
  1. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you appeal a wrongful denial or termination of your disability benefits. Disability carriers are in the business of collecting premiums and not paying disability benefits. They’ll use any reason to deny your claim. The odds of getting your benefits on appeal are greater when you are represented by an experienced ERISA/private ID policy disability attorney.

Contact Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live

Epileptic and non-epileptic seizures can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today! Nancy Cavey can review your policy and your medical records, and explain to you what your policy says and how to get your disability benefits.  Call today for a free consultation at 727-894-3188.