Author: Charles Frank

Drug Addiction and the Disability Benefits You Can Get

how to get disability for drug addiction

Some individuals are addicted to legal drugs, such as caffeine or nicotine, and others are addicted to illegal drugs, such as crack and speed. The severity of Drug Addictions can range from one end of the spectrum to the other. Diagnosing a Drug Addiction often starts with the addict, a family member, or friend who becomes concerned because of the symptoms of addiction. If you ask your doctor about the possibility of Drug Addiction, he or she will inquire about your use of the drug in question to see whether your responses match one or more of the symptoms of Drug Addiction. A definitive diagnosis of Drug Addiction is usually made by a mental health professional.

Providing DDS with a complete picture of a person with mental illness who is experiencing homelessness can be difficult. RMAs operated under contract to SSA and were responsible for conducting initial evaluations of DA&A beneficiaries and referring them to appropriate treatment services. Avard Law specialize in Social Security Disability, Personal Injury, and more. The information in this paragraph should not be confused with the information found in Table 2. The information in this paragraph refers to impairments cited as of March 1996, whereas the data presented in Table 2 refer to impairments cited as of December 1998.

how to get disability for drug addiction

For example, chronic alcoholism can cause conditions such as liver disease, pancreatitis, and peripheral neuropathy which can make a person disabled and unable to work, then they can be eligible to claim disability benefits. (ii) If we determine that your remaining limitations are disabling, you are disabled independent of your drug addiction or alcoholism and we will find that your drug addiction or alcoholism is not a contributing factor material to the determination of disability. If the SSA determines that an individual’s substance abuse contributes to their disability, they may reduce or deny their disability benefits. This means that if an individual’s substance abuse is found to be a significant factor in their disability, they may not be eligible for the total amount of benefits they would otherwise be entitled to. The SSA cannot refuse to pay benefits to someone with a substance addiction disorder if they are actively abusing drugs or alcohol – as long as the qualifying condition will remain. In order to determine this, a drug and alcohol addiction (DAA) evaluation is conducted to gauge the permanency of the disability.

Determining if Substance Use Is Material

There are two types of Social Security Disability benefits available – SSI (Social Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Income). While each has different basic eligibility requirements, both have the same definition of disabled. To be considered disabled, your condition must have lasted 12 months, be expected to last 12 more months, or must be a condition that will result in death. Your disability must prevent you from working and earning a living and must have a severe impact on your life. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognizes drug addiction as a disability, and provides protections for individuals recovering from it. The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for them.

Finally, a larger percentage of DA&A beneficiaries had been on the SSI rolls for 5 years or less. DA&A beneficiaries who appealed their benefit terminations on or before July 29, 1996, and who received no medical determination before December 31, 1996, continued to receive benefits while they waited for the initial decision. SSA terminated benefits immediately if the medical determination found no disability. At this time, the SSA does not allow disability benefits for addiction. In addition, if the SSA finds that your addiction is material to your disability claim, your addiction will cause your case to be denied. Only if your addiction is deemed immaterial to the condition for which you are seeking disability benefits, will the addiction not prevent you from obtaining disability benefits.

  1. Some individuals are addicted to legal drugs, such as caffeine or nicotine, and others are addicted to illegal drugs, such as crack and speed.
  2. Drug addiction is a serious issue that affects millions of people and should not be taken lightly.
  3. We often have to do this while the person is still drinking or using drugs.
  4. On the other hand, if you apply for disability benefits based on a qualifying condition and you are denied benefits because of your Drug Addiction, you may want to appeal the decision if your Drug Addiction has no impact on your disability.
  5. The information in this paragraph refers to impairments cited as of March 1996, whereas the data presented in Table 2 refer to impairments cited as of December 1998.

The impairment must also be severe enough to prevent the individual from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The SSA treats drug and alcohol addictions the same as any other disability. Individuals must still meet the criteria for disability in order to be eligible for benefits, and the SSA will consider an individual’s substance abuse history when determining their eligibility. (b) Process we will follow when we have medical evidence of your drug addiction or alcoholism.

Because drug addiction or alcoholism was no longer a valid reason to retain program eligibility, persons continuing on the rolls had to establish eligibility based on another type of disability. In March 1996, when individuals first began to receive notices, over 60 percent of DA&A SSI beneficiaries cited “substance abuse” as their primary impairment. The second most cited impairment was “other mental disorders” (approximately 11 percent). That category does not include individuals suffering from mental retardation but does include those suffering from personality disorders, anxiety and other neuroses, schizophrenia, paranoia, functional psychoses, and other psychoses.

Social Security Programs

With the right help and support, anyone struggling with addiction can recover successfully. Our law firm of Kentucky personal injury attorneys is committed to successfully representing our clients in personal injury claims and requesting full and fair compensation on their behalf. It’s the latter issue that’s the most important, as more than half of all SSD benefits are denied. When a person has co-occurring disorders, the two disorders occur simultaneously. A person with a co-occurring substance use disorder is not automatically ineligible.

how to get disability for drug addiction

To be eligible for an SSI payment in any given month (that is, have eligibility status), an individual must meet certain criteria. Some of the criteria require that the individual be aged, blind, or disabled and have income and resources below a certain level. A person becomes ineligible for payment for any month in which the criteria are not met. It is important to note that an individual’s substance abuse history will be considered when determining their eligibility for disability benefits. In most cases, disability benefits are not provided for substance abuse alone but rather for the resulting health condition that causes disability.

Addiction & the ADA

Finally, the gender composition changed slightly during the follow-up study period. In June 1996, 67.1 percent of DA&A beneficiaries receiving SSI payments were male and 32.9 percent were female. Of the beneficiaries who were still eligible in December 1998, 64 percent were male and 36 percent were female. SSA records indicate that over half of the total DA&A population were addicted to alcohol only, 16 percent were addicted to drugs only, and 27 percent were addicted to both.

On the other hand, if you apply for disability benefits based on a qualifying condition and you are denied benefits because of your Drug Addiction, you may want to appeal the decision if your Drug Addiction has no impact on your disability. At the time SSA sent notification of eligibility termination to the former DA&A beneficiaries, the majority were receiving SSI payments. Although some of the results in this note include individuals who were not receiving SSI payments, the primary focus here is the 1996 legislation and how it affected SSI beneficiaries. Over the years, SSA has changed how they consider substance use, referred to as “drug addiction and alcoholism (DAA)”. Prior to August 22, 1996, some people with disabilities whose alcohol or drug use contributed to their illness(es)/condition(s) were able to receive benefits.

Can Substance Abuse Impact Disability Benefits?

If you are filing for disability benefits due to a drug addiction or have already been denied, you may want to hire a Social Security Disability attorney to represent you in your disability claim. Hiring a disability lawyer will increase your chances of filing a successful disability claim. Sometimes drug use is an indication of an underlying condition and many of the people who suffer from mental illness try to self medicate with prescription medications and illegal drugs. This is very common for people who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder and other mood disorder conditions. Beneficiaries who spent the most time on the SSI rolls (9 years or more) were not as likely as those who spent 5 years or less on the rolls to lose payment status after the DA&A legislation (Table 5). A negligible number (0.5 percent) of individuals who lost payment status were on the SSI rolls for 15 years or more, compared with approximately 43 percent who were on the rolls for 2 years or less and 41 percent between 3 and 5 years.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction is usually chronic and the danger of relapse is high without ongoing medical and psychological support. How substance use is considered in the disability determination process has changed substantially over the years. This article dispels several widely-held myths about how DDS views substance use (such as you have to be clean and sober to get benefits), and its impact on the application process.

Although blood tests will show how much of a drug is in your system, it will not reveal addiction. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness of America’s communities. This means that employers must provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for individuals recovering from drug addiction and must make reasonable efforts to accommodate their needs. For example, an addiction to caffeine or nicotine won’t likely result in a breakdown of relationships or an inability to maintain employment. An addiction to heavy narcotics, on the other hand, can be very devastating to one’s lifestyle. In some cases, a Drug Addiction can result in the inability to sustain substantial gainful employment and addicts find it increasingly difficult to keep a job.