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Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits IF You Have A Mental Condition But Do Not Take Medication?

Can you be approved for SSI or SSD disability benefits if you do not take medication or are not compliant with the medication you have been prescribed? While Social Security does not specifically state that you have to be compliant with your medication in order to be approved for SSI or approved for SSD (except in the case of attention deficit disorder), it is my opinion as a former disability examiner that non-compliance with prescribed medication does not help your chances of being approved for SSI or SSD disability.

There is no denying that most people with mental conditions have some improvement in their functional capabilities while following their prescribed treatment. Having said this, though, how medication non-compliance might affect the overall chances of being approved for SSI or SSD varies from disability agency to disability agency, and even from unit to unit within those agencies (each state has at least one DDS agency that processes disability claims for the social security administration: DDS stands for disability determination services).

If you do not take any medication, or are not prescribed medication for your mental condition, it may or may not affect upon your chances of being approved for disability. Some mental conditions cannot be treated with medication.

For example, if your mental condition is organic brain disorder, or mental retardation there are no medications available for treatment. If you have one of these conditions you may vary well be approved for disability benefits even if you are not taking medication.

However, if you are not taking medication and your disabling impairment is depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, etc., your condition may be considered less debilitating or even non-severe.

Mental Impairments that are considered a disability

What mental conditions does the Social Security Administration (SSA) consider disabling? You can get approved for SSI or SSD if you have any one of a variety of mental conditions.

For example, you can be approved for SSI or SSD if you have depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, learning disabilities, mental retardation, panic attacks, somatoform disorder, organic brain disorders, attention deficit disorder, personality disorder, or any other combination of mental conditions.

The Social Security disability guidebook (a.k.a. the blue book) contains mental impairment listings. These listings provide the medical disability criteria needed to satisfy the SSA severity requirements for receiving disability benefits.

Claimants can be approved for disability benefits by meeting or equaling the requirements of a listing in the blue book, or by successfully passing through the sequential evaluation process, a five step process which seeks to determine whether or not a claimant has a severe impairment that will last at least one full year and which will prevent the performance of substantial and gainful work activity.

What medical evidence is required if you have a mental condition?

Like all disabling conditions, whether they are physical or mental, Social Security requires some type of objective medical evidence to support your allegation of a disabling mental condition. If you are applying for SSI on the basis of a mental condition, it is beneficial to your disability claim if you have a history of continuous treatment for your mental condition from a qualified mental health professional (i.e. a psychiatrist or psychologist).

Generally, Social Security prefers medical information from a treating physician (i.e. counseling notes that contain a diagnosis, prognosis, and response to treatment or any kind of objective mental testing) to make their medical decisions. If you do not have any mental health treatment notes, it is likely that you will have attend a CE, or consultative examination, with a mental health professional who will be paid by the Social Security Administration to:

A) give a status of your mental condition and/or

B) perform objective testing such as intelligence quotient (IQ) testing or memory testing.

Since they are paid for and obtained by Social Security to provide the minimal amount of medical evidence needed for disability examiners to make their disability decision, the consultative examinations rarely result in an approval for SSI or SSD disability benefits. It is simply difficult to ascertain the true limitations of an individual in a one-time, often quick, examination, performed by a doctor who has never previously met the patient and who may have no knowledge of the patient's past medical history.

Having a documented medical history, of course, can also serve to provide a record of prescribed medications and the patient's response to such treatment.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits IF You Have A Mental Condition But Do Not Take Medication?
    Will Your Claim for Disability be Handled Differently if it is Based on a Physical or Mental Problem?
    Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
    The Social Security Disability and SSI Process for Mental Claims based on Mental Disorders
    When you file for disability and have both Mental and Physical Conditions
    What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
    Are SSI and Social Security Disability Requirements Tougher For Mental Claims?
    Social Security Disability, SSI, Mental Disorders, and Functional Limitations
    Trying to get disability with meniere's, degenerative disc, ankylosing spondylitis, depression, and anxiety
    Tips for veterans filing for Social Security Disability
    How long will it take to get a decision on SSD or SSI after a medical examination?
    Do you get benefits when Social Security reviews your case?
    Qualifying for disability in California
    How do I apply for disability in Benefits in California
    Applying for Disability in California

    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
    What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria