June 6, 2011

Medications and your Social Security Disability Claim

Indiana Attorney Scott D. Lewis represents Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants with their disability claim.  Often times, he will get asked by his disability clients if it is important for them to continue to take their medications prescribed by their treating physicians.  When Mr. Lewis discusses the claimant’s case, during the free consultation offered at his law office, he often shares with them the importance to continue to visit their treating physicians and the importance of the claimant to comply with the treating physician’s orders, including medications. As disability lawyer Scott Lewis explains the disability evaluation process to his potential clients, he also explains the importance of medical records and medication history.  When submitting records in support of the claimant’s disability claim, Mr. Lewis and his staff will  attempt to submit all medications prescribed by the client’s treating physician.  Many times, claimants will experience side effects with their medications.  These side effects may contribute to the claimant’s inability to work.  Side effects of some pain medications or other medications may include, but are not limited to: fatigue drowsiness nausea breathing impairment mental fogginess gastrointestinal effects decrease in reaction time These side effects may impact the claimant’s ability to engage in normal daily activities or one’s ability to persist in a work environment. Scott Lewis believes that if a disability claimant does not comply with their treating physician’s medication orders, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may deny their disability claim.   In Mr. Lewis’ experience, it may be in the claimant’s best interest to take the medications that have been prescribed by their treating physician and take prescribed medication as instructed. The SSA will determine the severity of the disability and their ability to function while the claimant is medicated.  If the disability claimant fails to comply with their medication orders, the SSA may not be able to … Continued

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May 7, 2009

Medication Side Effects in Social Security Disability Cases

Many people wonder if they can be found disabled because of side effects to their prescribed medications.  Some people have even given up on their Social Security cases because they thought that they could not be found disabled based solely on side effects to medications.  If you doubt that you can be found disabled because of side effects, do not give up!  Side effects can be disabling. You may be familiar with the warning labels on the side of your medication bottles.  These warnings are very important because the side effects of some medications can cause problems in the work force.  It’s not uncommon for Indianapolis Attorney Scott D. Lewis to ask his clients about their medications, the side effects of their medications, warnings and limitations caused by their medication. The clients’ disabling conditions, coupled with the medications’ side effects, can often lead to a “fully favorable” decision from the Social Security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Often times, medications may cause drowsiness, inability to drive, nausea, or other side effects and may last for an extended period of time.  This alone may not necessarily be enough to get you disability but the side effects to your medication may be helpful in getting your disability claim approved.  Side effects to medications can always be considered in a Social Security disability benefit case.  In one particular case, a Vocational Expert (“VE”) testified that the side effects of the medications caused the claimant to doze off two or three times daily for 10-30 minutes each time which would be enough to preclude any substantial employment. One of the clearest examples of medication side effects is chemotherapy in cases of cancer.  This treatment saps your strength and can make you physically sick.  This is clearly debilitating and even disabling.  Is this enough to make you disabled?  That decision is up to a Social … Continued

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