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Can medications qualify you for disability?

Topic: Do certain medications qualify you for SSDI or SSI?

Question: Is having Morphine, barbiturates and Methadone and some medications an applicant takes qualify you for SSDI?

So, first, let me answer this question in a general fashion, speaking as a former disability examiner. You are required to be taking any type of medications in order to be approved for disability benefits. Also, certain medications do not automatically qualify you for disability.

That said, disability examiners and judges at hearings pay attention to the mentioning of medications in the medical records in several ways.

1. There are certain disability listings that describe a level of impairment in spite of taking prescribed medication. Meaning that even when prescribed medication is taken, the condition is still disabling. Epilepsy, seizure disorder, comes to mind.

2. Certain medications that are necessary for specific conditions can have side effects that make it impossible for an individual to engage in certain tasks.

Obviously, this may vary case by case since it may be dependent on a person's past work, as well as an individual's documented response to medications. That said, a medication that made driving dangerous or operating certain other equipment dangerous would rule out quite a bit.

Now, to address this question more specifically, if an individual is taking medications, it is likely that the person has underlying physical impairments that are fairly severe. Many times, an injury or degenerative process that is functionally limiting. As always, of course, Social Security will examine the medical records in order to determine just how functionally limited a person is and whether they can A) go back to their past work, and) perform some type of other work if past work is impossible. If the answer to both questions is no, a person can be expected to satisfy the requirements for getting disability.

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