PLEASE NOTE: Our office is still open, serving our clients, and taking new clients, too! Attorneys and staff are working remotely and/or safely apart within our office(s) while recognizing the recommended guidelines for social distancing. Your health and safety, and that of our staff, is important to our firm. In response to the threats of COVID-19, we are currently offering clients and potential clients the ability to communicate with our attorneys and staff by telephone or email. As soon as it is deemed safe to meet in person, we will be happy to schedule in-office appointments. In the meantime, please contact our office by telephone or email to discuss your legal needs. We continue to fight for your disability benefits during this difficult and unprecedented time. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Is medication needed to receive SSD benefits?

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Firm News
  4.  » Is medication needed to receive SSD benefits?

People in California who are applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI benefits may face a range of challenges and complicated requirements. In light of the documentation necessary to prove that one is truly disabled, many may be concerned that they must take prescription medication in order to be approved for benefits. The Social Security Administration does not define any disabling condition by the presence or absence of a medication prescription, and there is no case in which taking prescribed pharmaceuticals is a requirement to receive disability benefits.

However, if the claimant for Social Security Disability benefits is citing a disabling condition that is typically improved by medication, a disability examiner may ask why the claimant is not currently taking that medication. These questions may escalate significantly if the applicant has never tried the medications available. In particular, the examiner may question whether the applicant’s disability would continue to render them unable to work if they took medication.

People with epilepsy, asthma and depression can often control their conditions with prescribed medications; while these treatments do not work for everyone, it can be difficult to obtain disability benefits without a record of attempting mediation usage. Some disability examiners may believe that SSD applicants who have not taken medication for their illness do not have severe conditions or that the claimant’s doctor does not believe their disorder to be sufficiently troubling to prescribe medication.

In order to make a successful application for Social Security Disability benefits, proper medical documentation can be critical to achieving one’s goals. For many applicants with limited funds or severe disabilities, a lack of sufficient medical documentation can still be a reason for a negative decision. Working with a disability lawyer may help people applying for SSD benefits to accumulate the necessary documents and prepare their application to best demonstrate their disability and the need for benefits.