Disability Benefits: Drug Addictions
Are you unable to work because of a drug addiction?
When an addiction to drugs or alcohol becomes severe, it can significantly hinder an individual's ability to maintain regular employment. Those who are addicted to drugs over a long period of time can suffer a host of diseases, including lung problems, depression, chronic pulmonary conditions, insomnia, collapsed veins, abdominal problems and more. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not consider substance abuse to be a legitimate cause for disability benefits unless the abuse causes irreversible medical conditions.
If you have been medically diagnosed with a drug addiction, keep in mind that the SSA cannot hold this against you when you file for disability benefits for a mental or physical condition that is not related to drug abuse. Here at Disability Action Advocates, we have years of experience handling disability claims on the behalf of a wide variety of workers in the Sacramento area. Not only do we have the legal knowledge you need to succeed with a claim, we genuinely care about you and your future.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
Our team of Social Security disability attorneys will help you start the application process by filing a claim with the SSA on your behalf. The SSA reviews all claims for disability in the same manner, and your claim will not be discriminated against simply because you have an addiction. Unfortunately, the SSA will deny your claim if they can determine that your condition will go away once you stop abusing drugs or alcohol. The basic requirements for a disability claim state that your condition must last for at least 12 months and it must have a severe impact on your ability to work.
The Substance Addiction Disorders section of the Social Security guidelines acknowledges that drug addiction can cause changes in one's behavior or physical health. The drug can be any prescription or illegal drug that has affected one's central nervous system and additional criteria must be met in order for a worker to qualify for disability benefits under one of the following conditions:
- Personality disorders
- Liver damage
- Organic mental disorders
Representing Your Rights
Here at DAA, we are intimately familiar with the tactics and strategies that can be used to secure benefits on your behalf. In order for you to have the best chance at securing benefits while you are still addicted to drugs, the SSA needs to determine that quitting drugs will not improve your disabling condition. For example, if you are suffering advanced liver failure that was caused by drug abuse, your condition will not improve by stopping the drug use. In most cases, the SSA will use a drug/alcohol addiction (DAA) evaluation to determine if this is the case.
If you have been successful in recovering disability benefits and the SSA believes that you are still addicted to drugs, you may be required to attend treatment for drug addiction. The SSA also commonly requires addicts to have a representative payee who receives your Social Security check and manages your payments. Who is this representative payee? It can be anyone who you trust, such as a parent or a qualified organization, anyone who can prevent you from spending money on the drugs.
Our firm will help you through this process by gathering the medical evidence you need to win your claim. Individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness need to provide a psychiatric report, a detailed history of all hospitalizations, the names and addresses of your treating physicians, mental health status reports, and more. This can be overwhelming, especially for those who are dealing with serious conditions, and we are here to help you during this tough time. Contact Disability Action Advocates today to learn more about how we can protect your rights.