Seizures and my child- Can they get SSI?
Can My child get SSI for their Seizures?
Recently on our disability forum we had a parent ask, If my child has seizures will they qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? When most people think of seizures they automatically assume the individual must have epilepsy, but there are a variety of other reasons that a young child may have seizures. For instance, seizures can be caused from fever, head trauma, illness or lack of oxygen. In fact, WebMD estimates that seven out of ten times a child has a seizure the reason cannot be identified. This type of seizure is called an "idiopathic" or "cryptogenic" seizure.
When can my child get SSI benefits?
The first qualification for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the child must have VERY limited income and resources. SSI is only offered to low-income claimants. If your family makes too much money or owns too many assets your child will not qualify for SSI even if their condition is very severe.
Meeting the listing for Seizures on the SSA Listing of Impairments
The second requirement for SSI benefits is the child must have a marked and severe health condition. One easy way to identify marked and severe conditions is to review the SSA Listing of Impairments Part B for Children. This listing identifies the most common conditions and diseases, including their corresponding symptoms, which the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider automatically disabling.
If your childs condition is not on the list you will have to prove, through good medical evidence, that your childs condition meets or exceeds a listing.
Is Seizure Disorder on the SSA Listing of Impairments?
There is a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Seizure Disorders under 111.00 Neurological, Section 111.02 Major motor seizure disorder. Having this diagnosis will not be sufficient, however, to win benefits. Additionally, your child will have to have symptoms which are as severe as those listed. This listing is specifically for epilepsy, but if your child is having seizures for any reason and they have symptoms which are as severe as the listing, you can prove that your childs condition meets or exceeds this listing.
Under this listing the SSA states your child must have more than one major motor seizure per month, despite adequate treatment.
Why was my child denied for Seizure Disorder?
The most common reason children are denied Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is their familys income and resources are too high. If this is the case you can contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and discuss your case.
If your child was denied and income and resource limits are not the reason then the SSA has determined their seizure condition is not severe enough, and it did not meet a listing. This does not mean that they will never win benefits, but what this does mean is that you need to gather more medical evidence. You can also discuss your childs Supplemental Security Income case with a disability lawyer.
If your child is denied SSI benefits you have 60 days from the date of the denial to file an appeal.