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Cook County Social Security Disability Law Firm

Chicago Lawyer for Medications and Social Security Disability Benefits

Are you taking your prescribed medications? Should you be taking your medications? Will it hurt your case if you are not taking your medications? All of the answers to these questions could play a major role in whether you end up receiving disability benefits. Something that administrative law judges (ALJ’s) routinely bring up is whether a claimant is compliant with their prescribed medications.

Compliance with medications can be a real issue at a disability hearing. If a doctor tells a claimant that it is imperative for him or her to be taking specific medications and they fail to do so, the ALJ can question why those medications are not being taken. Could it be that the claimant is trying to get money from the government rather than being able to improve his or her health by taking medications? Or, is there a good reason for the non-compliance?

Perhaps the claimant is not able to afford the prescribed medications. This issue comes up in the majority of disability hearings. In general, claimants are trying to get disability benefits because they are unable to work. Without a job and money coming in, a claimant more often than not is unable to afford the treatment he or she needs for different medical conditions. The failure to afford treatment often comes with an inability to pay for medications. In these scenarios, the ALJ should take into consideration a claimant’s failure to take medications because of a valid reason.

An example of a scenario where the failure to take prescribed medications could be an issue is where a claimant suffers from seizure disorder and is not taking any medications, such as Dilantin. Sometimes a doctor will clearly state that a claimant with that condition needs to take Dilantin religiously, failure to do so could result in a seizure. If a claimant is not taking the medication, it will be very difficult for the ALJ to judge how severe the condition is.

If a claimant is able to afford his or her prescribed medications, it is in their best interests both for their health and Social Security disability benefits case to be taking them. Should a claimant be non-compliant with prescribed medications, be prepared before a hearing to explain why those medications are not being taken.

Contact our attorneys at 312-999-0999 for a free consultation.

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