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How hard is it to get on disability without being on medication?
The social security disability definition mentions nothing about medication. And, in fact, potentially any individual who decides to file for disability can be approved for disability.
Having said that, though, there are various conditions for which it is important to be on prescribed medication. If you have epilepsy or seizure disorder, the social security administration, when it reviews your disability claim, will be interested in ascertaining your residual functional capacity, after the effects of prescribed medication.
And, of course, there are other conditions for which medication plays a substantial role. Asthma cases, for instance. If you have asthma, a disability examiner or disability judge (depending on what level your ssd or ssi claim is at in the system) will be interested in how well your condition is controlled despite the use of prescribed medication such as steroids and inhalants. What if you have asthma and have not been prescribed medication? Well, this fact alone may signal to an adjudicator the severity of your condition.
And, of course, there is the issue of medical compliance. What do I mean by this? What I mean is that a disability examiner or disability judge may base their disability decision, to some extent, on whether or not a claimant has taken the medication that has been prescribed to them. For individuals who have been prescribed medication and have not taken it, the reason is this: A. how can a person's ability to work be determined if their true functional capacity is unknown and B. how can social security determine a person's true functional capacity if they are not taking the medication that their doctor has prescribed for them.
This argument is a logical and valid one. Unfortunately, it does tend to penalize fairly severely those disability applicants who no longer have health insurance, cannot afford to be seen by a doctor, and do not have access to a free clinic that provides medication.
Can you get disability from the social security disability or SSI program without being on medication? Yes, you can. However, depending on your particular condition, it may be much harder to demonstrate that you qualify for disability if medication has been prescribed and you are not taking it (unfortunately, regardless of the reason).
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Social Security Disability hearing decision time
Permanent disability benefits
Applying for Disability - How long does it take
Applying for disability, medical conditions
How do you Apply for SSI?
Disability requirements and how to file in Florida
What are the Application Requirements For SSI Disability?
How many SSD or SSI denials will you get before being approved?
A disability case may be decided quickly or take a long time
Will an attorney improve the chances of winning disability?
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
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