Applying for disability if you cannot work due to PFS

Social Security Disability is hard to get, but after many years, I was awarded it last year after being prevented from working because of cognitive impairment (which is a lot more than just brain fog–I underwent days of testing to confirm my cognitive dysfunction).

Since 2017 there is a changed SS disability Listing #12.02, Neurocognitive Disorder. (This used to be called Organic Brain Disorder.)

Importantly, in the SS manual there is a subsection under Neurocognitive Disorder called “Medication-Induced”. This fits a persistent adverse reaction to a prescribed medication. Like PFS. Finasteride is not the only drug or substance that causes an enduring problem, as we now know.

Listing # 12.02 does not include things like schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, intellectual/developmental disorder, etc - those are Listings 12.03 to 12.15. Some people may be prevented from working for these reasons, it does not have to be Listing 12.02.

In an application for disability, you have to show that you are under a doctor or psychologist’s care. You have to have evidence like neurocognitive testing that shows real deficiencies in how you think/remember/learn/pay attention/maintain focus/make decisions/etc. And you would have to show some evidence of poor performance or being fired from jobs.

The best thing is to work with a SS Disability Attorney. Unlike most attorneys in the USA, this type of attorney is limited in what he/she can charge–its not much.

Anyone who wants more info on this process can PM me.


Very kind of you to share your advice @crossroads, I’m sure your help will be appreciated by those in America suffering with severe cognitive issues induced by finasteride.

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To all those reading who have cognitive impairment, which is severe brain fog and thinking/memory dysfunction:

DO NOT GET AN MRI OR CT SCAN OF YOUR HEAD. Those scans only give us a sense of structural damage or structural things that should not be there. Those scans DO NOT say anything about the FUNCTION of the structures it sees in the brain. So if you get a scan, it will come back normal, when in fact though your brain structure is okay, the function of your brain (thinking, focusing, remembering, etc) is not.

The gold standard, the best test for cognitive dysfunction, is called neuropsychological testing, which is done by a trained licensed psychologist/neuropsychologist. Such testing can be covered by insurance if your doctor diagnoses you in advance with cognitive impairment.