When you apply for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, the Social Security Administration will ask for a list of all the impairments that keep you from working.
Most claimants provide a long list of diagnoses and symptoms that are helpful in assisting the SSA make a determination about their claim.
But many claimants make the mistake of thinking that this all the SSA considers when making a decision.
There's a lot more to it than just that. These impairments are just the beginning of what the SSA takes into account with your disability application, and the additional information you provide can be critical in obtaining a favorable determination in your case.
Regardless of why you're applying for disability benefits, it's very likely that you're also taking a variety of medications to treat your symptoms.
It's not uncommon for these medications to have side effects, including fatigue, nausea, concentration issues, or digestive problems.
Many people would say these medications cause symptoms just as bad, if not worse than the conditions they're treating.
The Social Security Administration recognizes this, and takes medication side effects into account when determining whether a claimant is disabled.
Unfortunately, many applicants wait until they have a hearing before an administrative law judge to bring up their side effects.
While the judge will take this information into account, and it can still help your case at this late stage, the judge also considers the credibility of the claimant, and much of this determination is based on how the claimant's testimony compares to the information available in the medical records.
If a claimant starts testifying symptoms that were never mentioned previously, it can hurt their credibility with the judge.
Because of this, it's of the utmost importance to discuss any side effects of the medication you're taking with your health care providers as soon as they arise so that this information can be documented in your records.