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

Is medicine or medication an Issue for Social Security Disability or SSI?

When it comes to medication and filing for disability, there are two separate issues.

The first one concerns "compliance with prescribed medication". What does this mean? Basically this. If you have a condition for which medication has been prescribed and it becomes evident during a review of your medical records (at the initial claim level, first appeal level, or by a disability judge at the disability hearing level) that you have not taken your medication as directed by the prescribing physician, this may have a negative impact on how your claim is viewed.

Of course, this may sound completely ridiculous to someone whose medical insurance has lapsed for quite some time (obviously, its difficult to get medication if you don't have health insurance--unfortunately, this happens to a large percentage of disability claimants), but the social security administration's point of view is this: for a disability claimant has not taken medication as prescribed, how is it possible to gauge the true severity of their condition?

The second issue regarding medication and Social Security Disability applications, however, is "Will if affect my case if I am not on medication when I apply for disability?"

Answer: You do not necessarily need to be on medication to be approved for Social Security Disability or SSI disability. And Social Security Disability Examiners and Administrative Law Judges do not use a checklist for medication usage.

Just the same, though, disability examiners and ALJs may find it noteworthy (just to use a couple of examples) that a claimant who has major depression is not taking antidepressants, or that a claimant with seizure disorder is not taking antiseizure medications.

This is really, however, how disability applicants should view the medication issue. If you have a condition, are being treated for the condition, and are not being prescribed medication, don't worry about it. The social security administration will evaluate your medical records and make a determination based on the severity of your condition, the extent to which it functionally limits you, and the resulting effect on your ability to work.

If you have been prescribed medication, try to stay compliant because cases are denied on the basis of non-compliance. Without a doubt, this can be a bitter pill for disability applicants who have fought long and hard to win disability benefits and, somewhere along the way, have lost their health insurance coverage.

Essential Questions

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Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

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Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

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How long will an SSI or SSDI disability claim take?
Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How and why to check Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability back pay
Non medical requirements for disability
Qualifying for disability, SSD SSI
When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Who qualifies for SSI?
Forms to complete when filing, applying for disability
How long does SSDI and SSI disability take to get?
Filing for disability with Depression
Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits with a Mental Condition
How long for a disability judge to make a decision?
While you are in your disability interview
The SSD and SSI definition of disability
Filing for disability with carpal tunnel syndrome
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Can you work if you get a disability check?
Disability application denied
File for disability, the application
How to get disability benefits
Conditions that get approved for disability
How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security

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.