How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

One way your medicines can affect your disability claim

In order to be approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) or supplemental security income (SSI), you must be able to demonstrate that you impairment is severe regardless of any attempt to improve it with medical intervention. For this reason, it is critical that you take your medications as prescribed by your physician.

If a disability examiner sees that you are not currently under a doctor’s care for your impairment, or not taking your medication as prescribed and directed to do so (the issue is called medication noncompliance), the examiner may conclude either A) your symptoms are not so severe that they prevent you from functioning, or B) your symptoms are severe only because you are not taking your medicine. In either scenario, it would be unlikely to find yourself approved for disability benefits.

Medication compliance and noncompliance assumes an even larger role in the development and evaluation of SSD and SSI cases for which the major allegations are certain impairments.

Some impairments, such as seizure disorder (epilepsy), asthma, and ADHD, can be controlled with medication. Anti-seizure drugs and drugs commonly used to treat ADHD may, in some individuals, completely alleviate symptoms and allow them to lead normal, productive lives.

The only way to demonstrate to a disability examiner that you are not one of those people who are significantly helped by medication is to actually take your medication and have your physician document that that the functional limitations caused by your condition are severe enough to be disabling (according to the definition of disability used by the social security administration) despite your treatment regimen. In other words, that your medication, in effect, is not working.

In short, there is no way a disability examiner, or a disability judge for that matter, can make a decision on a disability claim unless it is clear that the condition cannot be helped by the available medical treatments. In recognition of this fact, some listings in the official social security list of impairments handbook (known as the bluebook and titled "Disability Evaluation under Social Security) such as the listings 11.02 and 11.03 for adult epilepsy) actually require that claimants prove their symptoms do not get better after ninety days of prescribed treatment before they can be approved for disability.

If you are applying for Social Security Disability and do not take your medication, you not only put your health at risk, but you will almost certainly set yourself up for a summary denial of your claim.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How long does it take to get a disability approval letter?
Disability requirements, eligibility, criteria
Applying for disability, medical conditions
Which medical treatment sources will Social Security accept for evidence?
How does Social Security determine someone can't work?
How can I win disability if I don't have health insurance and can be seen by a doctor?
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Appealing A Social Security Disability Determination
Appealing a Social Security Disability or SSI Denial with a Disability Hearing Before an ALJ
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
Disability requirements and how to file in Illinois

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.