As you probably know, Social Security has a very specific definition of disabled. Disabled means that you have a very serious limitation from your health problems, and those limitations prevent you from doing any kind of work at all. But let’s consider what “limitations” really means. It certainly means the effects of any diseases that you may be suffering from, but it also means more than that. So, can medication side effects lead to social security disability benefits?
Can medication side effects lead to Social Security Disability Benefits?
What are the effects of your treatment that you are having for your condition? For example, we’ve had several cases where clients are suffering from severe health problems and are receiving treatment for those problems and the treatment is actually helping the symptoms of the disease. What is disabling, however, is the side effects of the treatment. We see this in a number of different categories.
One place that we see it is for clients that are being treated for different forms of cancer. They may be getting surgery and getting follow-up radiation and/or chemotherapy. All of those medical procedures may actually be taking care of the cancer, which is great. But, the client is suffering from a lot of negative side effects from that treatment. Frequently, we see clients that are receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatment suffer from great fatigue, nausea, and/or vomiting. While these side effects may not last forever, if they are lasting at least twelve consecutive months, then we have a Social Security Disability case where the disabling condition is based on the side effects from treatment.
We often see disabling side effects from clients that have some type of ongoing pain that are taking strong narcotic pain medications or “painkillers”. The biggest side effects that we have commonly seen from these clients are drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, and nausea. It’s important to honestly and accurately evaluate the severity of these side effects and think long and hard about if these effects will limit your ability to work.
Many times, clients have approached us and said that their medication has made them unable to drive, thus unable to go to work. While this is certainly true, it will not be part of the disability evaluation. Social Security is going to automatically assume that you are capable of making it to work, and are only focused on your ability to actually perform tasks once you are at the job. Therefore, we do not normally focus on the ability to drive when building a Social Security disability case.
Our team at Disability Associates views our clients as more than just another case. We build genuine relationships with each and every one of our clients to ensure that they are comfortable during this stressful time. We value honesty, good communication, and compassion, and implement these values with every client we have. In building these relationships, our clients trust that we will provide competent representation and will do our best to get them the Social Security benefits they deserve.