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Headaches and Seizures: The Importance of Compliance and Documenting Your Symptoms

When SSA disability examiners evaluate migraine headaches and seizures, they review medical evidence to determine the frequency and duration you experience exacerbations of these conditions despite prescribed treatment. Compliance is key. Migraines and Seizure disorders are largely understood to be well-controlled if individuals follow prescribed treatment. This means, it is assumed that you will experience fewer migraines or seizures if you take your medications as prescribed. SSA will agree that your conditions are not well-controlled if your antiepileptic medications are not at therapeutic levels. Compliance with medication will be established by the laboratory testing doctors routinely perform on individuals suffering with seizure disorders. The best things you can do for your SSA disability case, are the best things you can do for your health. That is, comply with recommendations from your treating providers and take medications as prescribed.

If your seizures or migraines persist despite prescribed treatment, you have a much stronger case for disability benefits. Beyond compliance, you want to be able to establish the frequency and duration you experience seizures and migraines. The information SSA is most interested in is how often these things occur, and what happens when you suffer from either condition.

Specifically, for seizures, SSA requires at least one detailed description of a typical seizure. This can be difficult as loss of consciousness or awareness often occur during seizures. I recommend to all clients that they keep a seizure or migraine notebook. Every time you experience a seizure or migraine, log it in your notebook. It's also helpful to detail what symptoms you experienced and how long they lasted. Particularly in seizure cases, you may be able to document that a seizure occurred, because of the symptoms you experience afterwards such as extreme fatigue, loss of bladder control, or tongue biting, for example. If a third-party witnesses a seizure, ask them to verify what they observed in writing. There are often several months that go by in between your doctor visits. A notebook detailing your seizures or migraines will help document your condition in between your appointments. It gives SSA a better understanding of your day-to-day functioning beyond what is detailed in progress notes from your medical records.

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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.

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