Grand Mal Seizures Can Lead To Social Security Disability Benefits

by Editorial Board on March 29, 2011 · 0 comments

in Neurological Disorders

Grand mal seizures involve the whole body and a loss of consciousness often occurs along with muscle contraction and stiffness. Grand Mal seizures also called tonic-clonic seizures occur due to electrical disturbances within the brain of a person. The severity and type of symptoms experienced by each person largely depends on the part of brain being affected by such disturbances of electrical charges within the brain.

The exact cause of Grand mal seizures is still unknown. However, past head injuries, brain tumors, strokes, infections involving brain tissue, and even extreme low levels of glucose, calcium, or sodium may lead to such seizures.

There are a wide variety of symptoms of grand mal seizures depending on what part of the brain is affected by abnormal electrical disturbances.  Here are some of the commonly seen symptoms of people who suffer from grand mal seizures:

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Falls
  • Whole body spasms
  • Jerking muscles
  • Biting the tongue
  • Frothing at the mouth
  • Urination
  • Rolling back of Eyes
  • Clenched teeth and jaw
  • Confusion
  • Headache, weakness, confusion, and loss of memory after a seizure episode is over

Symptoms in some but not all patients include a warning feeling (aura) before a grand mal seizure, a scream, or unresponsiveness after convulsions.  People who are present around a person undergoing a grand mal seizure should first call for medical help, and then gently roll the person onto one side.  Avoid putting anything in the mouth, and do not try to restrain movements during a seizure.

A number of complications are associated with grand mal seizures including: biting of the tongue and inside the cheeks, and injury while falling or during uncontrolled body movements.  Joint dislocations, fractures, head injuries, and other such injuries may occur after these individuals fall down.  More injuries may result due to extensive uncontrolled movements during grand mal seizure episode.

Individuals with a history of grand mal seizures are recommended not to swim, drive, or operate equipment.  Most doctor’s give people written notice advising them not to drive if they are in treatment for seizure disorders.

People with a history of grand mal seizures can win Social Security Disability or SSI disability benefits depending on functional limitations due to this medical condition and the frequency of their seizures.  There is a listing for seizures within Social Security’s blue book of listed impairments.  The listing discusses the frequency of seizures despite sustained treatment (usually anticonvulsant medication) that a person needs to be suffering from to win their benefits.  The seizure listing however is not the only way someone with seizures can win disability benefits.  The law also allows Social Security Administrative law judges (ALJs) to consider if the person could sustain full time work over the long run.  When considering this issue even if your seizures are not at a listing level they could be bad enough to not allow sustained competitive work.

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