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 Security ALJ, but this side effect might give you a good chance of winning Social Security disability benefits.
If the claimant is taking necessary medications, the Social Security Administration considers any side effects that these medications might have. So, if one of your prescribed drugs makes you irrational, sleepy, unable to drive, unable to think clearly, unable to concentrate, or unable to remember things, this is important! These details can make all the difference in your case. If the side effects of your medications and disabling condition make it impossible for you to work, contact Attorney Scott Lewis to discuss your Social Security disability claim.