If you are not taking your medicines, your doctors will usually note in the records that you are “non-compliant”. This is not good for you or for your disability case.
If your records show that you only have severe problems or flare-ups of your medical conditions when you are not properly taking your medications, then it can be assumed that when you do take your medicines as prescribed, you are stable and can go about your normal life. Although this may not be true, the only way to know is to take all of your medications as prescribed by your doctors.
If you are having unbearable side effects, you must tell your doctor immediately and not just stop taking them – this again can be reported as non-compliance. Communication with your doctors is very, very important.
If you cannot afford your medications, you must also convey this to your doctors in order for the two of you to come up with alternative medications or ways to get the expensive medications free or at a reduced rate.
Wal-Mart and Target and now many grocery store pharmacies have a long list of generic medications for many different conditions that are $4.00 for a month’s supply or $10 for a three-month supply. Consider printing this list off of the internet and taking it with you to your appointments to discuss with your doctor and determine whether one of those medications is appropriate for treatment of your condition.
If you must have a medication that is not on the list, go to www.needymeds.org and look up your medication to see what patient assistance programs may be available to you. There are typically one or two programs for each medication. This website will provide you the phone number or web address of the company or organization you need to contact in order to find out if you qualify.
Just remember, it is incredibly important for you to take all medicines as prescribed by your doctor. If you are having trouble with your medicines, whether the problem is being able to afford them, or tolerate them once you do take them, you must communicate these problems to your doctor. In this day and age of rising healthcare costs, you have to be proactive in finding a way to pay for your medications. Consult with the experts at Morgan & Weisbrod for more helpful tips in working through the Social Security disability process.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.