What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Social Security Disability and Medication
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
You do not have to have been prescribed medication in order to qualify for social security disability (SSD) or SSI benefits. In fact, neither the social security administration nor DDS (the state disability determination service or agency that makes disability decisions for social security) defines any disabling condition based on what types of medications a claimant has or is currently taking.
Theoretically, any individual that files for disability could be approved for benefits, regardless of their medical history.
However, if you are not taking medicine to treat your symptoms and are filing for disability based on a medical condition that could be improved by medication, a disability examiner may question if you are truly disabled, or if itís possible that you could work if you took prescribed medication.
For instance, it is possible to effectively control epilepsy with seizure medication, asthma with steroids, symptoms of depression with antidepressants, etc. In such cases it is difficult for an individual to prove that their condition is disabling without having at least tried to alleviate the symptoms by taking medication. To the disability examiner or administrative hearing judge reviewing your case, it could appear that you are either not ill enough to have sought medical treatment, or that a physician did not think your condition was serious enough to prescribe medication.
So, although it is not necessary to be on medication to prove that you have a disability, it does make it harder to demonstrate medical compliance; that is, social security cannot determine your real functional capacity if you are not taking the medication commonly prescribed to treat your symptoms, and it will be difficult to make the case that you could not, with proper medical treatment, return to work.
This puts some who file for disability in an unfair position, because they may be uninsured, or unable to afford either to see a doctor or to buy the prescribed medication. Unfortunately, a lack of medical documentation in this area can hurt a claimantís case, and may make it impossible to win SSD or SSI benefits.
If you are applying for disability benefits but have no health insurance, itís a good idea to check out any free clinics or free prescription services in your area. Your local county health department or social services agency should be able to give you a list of such resources available in your area.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials