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Doug Landau
Doug Landau
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 610

The importance of medication side effects in Social Security Disability cases

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We have all seen the orange, pink, yellow and blue labels on the sides of pill bottles. "May cause drowsiness" "Avoid operating machinery" "Take with food"

These are important warnings, because the side effects of some very good medications can cause problems in an industrial setting. In a recent Social Security Disability case, the judge failed to consider the side effects of the plaintiff’s medications. The disabled worker testified that she lost her last job after falling asleep due to the medications prescribed by her treating doctors.

A Vocational Expert ("VE") testified that if the side effects of the medications caused the plaintiff to doze off two or three times daily for 10-30 minutes each time, as she testified, that would be enough to preclude any substantial employment. Since the ALJ’s opinion did not discuss any of this evidence, the Federal District Court remanded the case, so that the additional evidence of the plaintiff’s medicines could be considered. This is why we asks about clients’ medications, their side effects, warnings and limitations. Our clients’ disabling conditions, coupled with the medications’ side effects, can often lead to a "fully favorable" decision from the Social Security judges and an award of monthly income benefits. If the side effects of your medications and disabling condition make it impossible for you to work, give us a call.