• Christopher Le

Medication Side Effects and Social Security Disability Claims

Many individuals are taking medications to help manage the medical conditions that cause their disabilities. While these medications may be effective at managing your symptoms, they often come with side effects such as nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, etc... However, they are a necessary evil to provide relief. It’s important to know how these side effects can play a factor in your Social Security disability claim.


Social Security disability law states that the side effects of any prescribed medications must be considered as symptoms of the disease they treat and must be taken into account as part of the disability determination . For this reason, its crucial to notify your doctor of any side effects so that it can be documented. Medical documentation is of most importance in your claim for disability benefits so if the doctor doesn’t notate medication side effects, SSA may assume you have no side effects. Judges will also look at these records to determine if you are eligible for disability. So its important for this information to be on your record, rather than just taking your word for it.


In addition, it’s important to notate any side effects when you fill out SSA’s daily activity and disability forms. You will receive these forms throughout the claims process. If your medical records and disability forms that you fill out both document side effects, then this can help

your chances of being approved. For instance, if your medications cause fatigue, you may need to rest or nap, which may make working full time impossible. Also if medications cause problems with concentration, it may make it difficult to focus and stay on task while at work. Memory issues can make it difficult to track appointments and remembering to take medications as prescribed . The more detailed your examples are when filling out these disability forms, the more powerful they become.


Your health care providers should include all of your symptoms and any side effects on an ongoing basis within your medical records. The Social Security Administration requires credible medical evidence to make a determination of disability . Thats why it’s important to list all limitations and symptoms, regardless of whether they are caused by the illness, injury or your medication. Practically anything that can impact your ability to work full time should be documented by your doctor.

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© 2017 by Christopher Le

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