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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

Social Security Disability and Medication



 
You do not have to have been prescribed medication in order to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI benefits. In fact, neither the social security administration nor DDS (the state disability determination service or agency that makes disability decisions for social security) defines any disabling condition based on what types of medications a claimant has or is currently taking.

Theoretically, any individual that files for disability could be approved for benefits, regardless of their medical history.

However, if you are not taking medicine to treat your symptoms and are filing for disability based on a medical condition that could be improved by medication, a disability examiner may question if you are truly disabled, or if it’s possible that you could work if you took prescribed medication.

For instance, it is possible to effectively control epilepsy with seizure medication, asthma with steroids, symptoms of depression with antidepressants, etc. In such cases it is difficult for an individual to prove that their condition is disabling without having at least tried to alleviate the symptoms by taking medication. To the disability examiner or administrative hearing judge reviewing your case, it could appear that you are either not ill enough to have sought medical treatment, or that a physician did not think your condition was serious enough to prescribe medication.



So, although it is not necessary to be on medication to prove that you have a disability, it does make it harder to demonstrate medical compliance; that is, social security cannot determine your real functional capacity if you are not taking the medication commonly prescribed to treat your symptoms, and it will be difficult to make the case that you could not, with proper medical treatment, return to work.

This puts some who file for disability in an unfair position, because they may be uninsured, or unable to afford either to see a doctor or to buy the prescribed medication. Unfortunately, a lack of medical documentation in this area can hurt a claimant’s case, and may make it impossible to win SSD or SSI benefits.

If you are applying for disability benefits but have no health insurance, it’s a good idea to check out any free clinics or free prescription services in your area. Your local county health department or social services agency should be able to give you a list of such resources available in your area.








Essential Questions

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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



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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

Social Security Disability For Back Condition pain in California

How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?

Disability requirements and criteria in California









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.