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Can Medication Side Effects lead to Social Security Disability Benefits?

Can Medication Side Effects lead to Social Security Disability Benefits?

At Sharon Christie Law, a Baltimore Social Security Disability Law Firm, we are often asked can medication side effects lead to Social Security Disability Benefits? In this video, Sharon Christie examines this question and helps provide answers to whether or not you can receive Social Security Disability Benefits due to medication side effects. 

Official Transcript: Can Medication Side Effects lead to Social Security Disability Benefits?

Hi I’m Sharon Christie your nurse attorney for Social Security disability benefits. As you probably know if you’ve been listening to my videos Social Security has a very specific definition of disabled. Disabled means that you have severe limitations from your health problems and those limitations prevent you from doing any type of work at all, but let’s consider what limitations really means. It certainly means the effects of whatever diseases you are dealing with, but it also means more than that. It means what are the effects of the treatment that you’re having for your conditions. So, for example I’ve had any number of cases where clients have had very severe health problems and are receiving treatment for the problems and the treatment is actually helping the symptoms of the disease. What’s disabling are the side effects of the treatment. So, I see this in a number of different categories one place I see it is for clients who are being treated for different forms of cancer. They may be getting they may have had surgery and then getting follow-up radiation and or chemotherapy and 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 effects or side effects from that treatment. So, frequently I’ll see with chemotherapy and radiation therapy great fatigue. We may see some nausea, sometimes vomiting, those are the biggest side effects that I see and while these side effects may not last forever if they’re lasting at least 12 consecutive months then we have a case where our disabling condition is really based on the side effects of the medicines.
I see the same thing for clients who have some type of ongoing pain and are on strong narcotic pain medications. The pain medication actually blunts the pain, takes the edge off. That’s what my clients tell me all the time it takes the edge off and so their pain level is reduced which is great but again they have a lot of very negative side effects. The biggest ones that I see are drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, sometimes nausea. So, when I look at those side effects then we have to evaluate how severe are they? How severe is the drowsiness? How severe is the inability to concentrate? Is it severe enough that it’s going to prevent you from being able to do any type of work?
Now let me have a little side note here. Frequently people will tell me my clients will say I take these medications and I can’t drive. So, I couldn’t drive to work and then while that’s absolutely true that’s not going to be part of the disability evaluation. The fact that you have difficulty getting to work in the evaluation of your case Social Security is going to assume you find a way to get there and they’re evaluating how you function once you are actually at the job. So, that’s why we don’t focus so much on the ability to drive and get to the job. We look more at what are the effects of these medications once you’re sitting at your desk or you are at the job and then evaluate whether you still are suffering from disabling conditions because of the medications.

The Path to Social Security Disability Benefits with Sharon Christie Law

Step 1: Understanding Social Security’s Definition of Disabled

The definition of disabled, according to Social Security, is that you have severe limitations from your health problems that keep you from doing any kind of work for at least 12 consecutive months. This is the first thing we look at when evaluating your case. Your diagnosis is just the starting point. To get disability benefits for you, we must prove that your disabling condition causes severe limitations in your day to day activities.

Step 2: Medical Records in Your Disability Case

You must have medical evidence to prove your disability case. The most important evidence is your medical records that show your diagnosis, your symptoms, and your response to treatment.

Step 3: Don’t go it alone: How Sharon Christie Law Can Help You

At Sharon Christie Law, a Social Security Disability Law Firm, we recognize that no one ever plans to get so sick that they have to stop working. When you need to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits we recognize that you will be anxious about the process and whether you can qualify for disability benefits. Our goal at Sharon Christie Law is to help you win your case and give you the financial stability you need! Why work with us?

We do it all for you: At Sharon Christie Law we handle all aspects of the case for you, from preparing and filing your application through the hearing with a judge. We are with you every step of the way.  When working with us, you focus on feeling better, and we focus on winning your case.

We return your phone calls: We understand that you have many questions regarding Social Security Disability Benefits. We never want you to wonder what is happening with your case. We are here to answer your questions. All phone calls and emails are returned within 24 hours. That is our promise to you.

We believe in client education: The Social Security Disability process is confusing. We think it is important that you understand each step in the process. So, we created a section on our website that is accessible only to clients. This client’s only section tells you everything you need to know about the disability process.