Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes seizures. According to the CDC, if you have epilepsy, you may experience different types of seizures.
The types of seizures that you have, the frequency with which you experience them and their persistence determine your eligibility for Social Security Disability. There are two major types of seizures: focal and generalized.
Focal seizures also go by the name of partial seizures because they only affect one side of the brain. They can cause you to become dazed or confused. You may perceive a strange smell or taste, or you may start twitching uncontrollably.
Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain at the same time. They can start out generalized, or a focal seizure may spread to both hemispheres of the brain. The most serious type of generalized seizure is a tonic-clonic seizure. Also called a grand mal seizure, it can cause your muscles to become stiff and parts of your body to shake uncontrollably. You may fall to the ground, cry out or lose consciousness.
An absence seizure is another type of generalized seizure that causes much less dramatic symptoms. Also known as a petit mal seizure, it may cause you to stare off into space or blink rapidly. These symptoms often pass quickly. The casual observer may not be able to tell that you are having a seizure at all.
In addition to the type and frequency of seizures you experience, your eligibility for SSD on account of epilepsy may also depend on the persistence of your seizures despite your efforts to control them with medication.