Disability For Opioid Addiction
Social Securitys rules for disability due to addiction are very straightforward, and the short answer is usually no. But its not that simple.
Social Security doesnt consider a drug addiction of any kind a disabling condition, even if it prevents someone from working. Only until it produces irreversible, permanent conditions does the Social Security Administration consider someone eligible for disability. All cases are reviewed in the same manner, no matter how the disability occurred.
SSA does not consider an addiction to properly prescribed prescription drugs to need a drug addiction or alcoholism determination However, SSA can take into consideration the disabling effects and limitations caused by a prescription that is used to treat a condition that a claimant is applying for. The side effects of a medication should be included when describing the seriousness of a patients condition.
In Social Security Ruling 13-2p, the SSA clarifies this point by stating that a DAA determination is not to be applied in cases of addiction to, or use of, prescription medications taken as prescribed, including methadone and narcotic pain medications. This also means that any side effects of the prescription will be taken into account when considering if a claimants symptoms are severe enough to be disabling.
Addictions And Impairments Of The March 1996 Da& a Beneficiary Cohort
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.
The impairment data analyzed for March 1996 are for SSI cases only and indicate the impairment on which the eligibility was based at that time.3 Almost 75 percent of the SSI cases were classified in a psychiatric category, including 64 percent in the substance abuse category.4 A small percentage of individuals were classified in the affective disorder category and in the mental retardation category .5 Very few people were listed in the cirrhosis of the liver or liver disease category impairments often associated with severe alcohol abuse.
Maximus Inc., a referral and monitoring agency , provided additional information on DA& A beneficiaries.6 A sample of 82,806 cases from 43 states suggests that:
- Many beneficiaries had low levels of education
- Few had technical training
- Most had no children and
- The vast majority had a criminal history .
Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
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Who Normally Receives Disability Coverage
As defined by the Social Security Administration, disability refers to an injury or illness that renders you unable to work as you did before, cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition, or your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or will result in death.
Disability benefits are granted after the following three specific criteria are met: You may not earn more than $1,070 a month from working, your condition must be expected to last a minimum of 12 months, and your condition must impact your ability to work significantly. Typically, while drug addiction does affect a persons ability to work, benefits are not extended to the drug-addicted person unless these three primary criteria are first met.
Sacramento Ssd Attorney 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. We know that the SSA will need to determine that quitting drugs will fail to improve your 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 evaluation to determine if this is the case.
If you have been successful in recovering disability benefits and the SSA has reason to believe 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 benefits and manages your payments. This person can be anyone who you trust, such as an organization or parent, someone who will ensure that you don’t spend the money on the abused substance.
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Disability For Damage Caused By Drug Addiction
Social Security acknowledges that the use of substances can cause medical and mental conditions that cannot be reversed simply by abstaining from the substances. At some point, most chronic substance abusers will have irreversible medical or mental problems because of the changes that occur throughout the body from prolonged use of narcotics.
Social Security no longer has a disability “listing” for drug addiction. Until 2017, there was a listing for substance addiction disorders that you could meet if you had suffered specific changes in your behavior or physical health due to regular abuse of any prescription or illegal drug that affected your central nervous system. The changes that qualified were brain damage, liver damage, pancreatitis, gastritis, peripheral neuropathy, seizures, anxiety disorder, major clinical depression, or personality disorder.
The listing for substance addiction disorders required that you met the criteria of the listing for the particular condition. As of 2018, there is no longer a listing for addiction, but you can still qualify for disability benefits by meeting the criteria of any of the listings for impairments caused by substance abuse:
For more information on the listings for these individual disorders, visit the above links.
Loss Of Ssi Eligibility And Payment Status
The criteria for SSI eligibility should be considered before describing the individuals who lost eligibility and paid status. To be eligible for an SSI payment in any given month , 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.
Of the 165,690 DA& A SSI beneficiaries who received notices in 1996, 100,010 of them lost paid status between March 1996 and December 1998. Only 65,680 individuals continued to receive payments by December 1998.
The number of people who lost eligibility status is slightly larger than that of those who lost paid status. Between March 1996 and December 1998, 101,120 DA& A beneficiaries lost eligibility status. Therefore, out of the 165,690 DA& A beneficiaries who received a notice in 1996, only 39 percent had retained eligibility by December 1998. The decrease in the number of beneficiaries who were eligible to receive payments and the number who actually received payments is shown in Chart 1.
Getting Disability For Drug
If you are illegally dependent on drugs, you might still be found disabled for other physical or mental impairments and receive benefits under certain conditions. If you have severe physical or mental problems other than your drug addiction that are disabling, and the problems would exist even if you stopped taking drugs, you can qualify for disability benefits.
This is true even if your drug addiction caused the physical or mental problems in the first place. For instance, you can be found disabled because of irreversible organ or nerve damage caused by drug addiction, as long as the problems would still exist if you stopped taking drugs.
You can also apply for SSI or SSDI disability benefits for a disabling impairment that’s completely unrelated to drug abuse, such as a herniated disc, breast cancer, or traumatic injuries from an accident. You can get disability benefits for any of these impairments if you must meet the Social Security Administration’s stringent requirements for them.
However, in both cases, if the Social Security Administration finds that your drug dependence is contributing to your disability, you won’t get benefits. Technically, the SSA will determine whether your drug addiction is a “contributing factor material to the determination of disability” here’s how they do it.
Assessing Drug Or Alcohol Use
Before considering whether drug or alcohol use is material to a disability claim, Social Security must have medical evidence that the person has a substance dependency, addiction, “compulsory dependency,” abuse or use disorder. For Social Security purposes, these terms all mean the same thing.
The use of alcohol or drugs is not necessarily drug addiction. When Social Security makes a drug addiction or alcohol determination, the important factor is whether a person has a pattern of repeatedly using drugs in a dysfunctional wayin other words, whether the drug use is causing a disruption of work, family life, social activities, and/or physical damage. That is a medical judgment that the Social Security Administration makes. Depending on the quality of evidence available from an applicant’s medical records, Social Security may order an additional mental examination to determine whether there is a drug or alcohol addiction.
The SSA does not have to establish a drug or alcohol addiction by any specific criteria, such as those in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Whether a person’s drug use is “addictive,” a free choice, legal, illegal, or involves a prescribed drug, is not relevant to Social Security’s determination of whether drug addiction or alcoholism is present.
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Qualifying For Ssdi And Substance Abuse Disorders
Here are a few ways you may qualify for Boston SSDI because of a substance abuse disorder.
- Mental Disorder. To receive benefits for a mental disorder, damage must have been caused to your brain by injury or disease. Alcohol abuse can sometimes lead to brain injury. If your mental disorder was caused by alcohol abuse, you may qualify.
- Depression. Substance abuse frequently causes depression. In some cases, depression may limit your ability to work and could qualify you to receive SSDI in Boston.
- Anxiety. Substance abuse can also lead to anxiety. This can make it impossible to work. If you suffer from anxiety, you may qualify to receive benefits.
- Gastritis. Gastritis is the inflammation of your stomach lining. This condition is frequently caused by alcohol abuse. If your digestive system has been compromised after extended substance abuse, you may qualify for disability benefits.
- Liver Damage. Alcohol has a direct impact on your liver. If your liver is permanently damaged because of your alcohol abuse, you may qualify for SSDI.
Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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Reversibility Of Drug Or Alcohol Effects
If Social Security finds that drug addiction or alcoholism exists, the agency then forms an opinion about whether any damage caused by the drug or drug use is reversible and whether the reversible damage would make any difference between an allowance and denial.
For example, any functional limitations imposed by intoxication itself would not be considered, since these symptoms are obviously reversible. Similarly, the reversible components of stimulant drugs, such as increased blood pressure, are not considered limiting in physical impairment claims.
The Social Security medical consultant, administrative law judge, or other adjudicator should understand the nature of the drugs abused when deciding the reversibility of the effects or drugs or alcohol. Even a treating doctor’s opinion that a drug’s effect is reversible is not acceptable unless it is both true and applicable to a given case.
Drug or alcohol abuse only matters if limitations caused by substance abuse are considered reversible and if the applicant doesn’t have any other limitations that could qualify him or her for disability benefits. In that case, the absence of non-drug-related and non-alcohol-related limitations is the reason for denial, not the substance abuse.
Do Alcoholics Get Pip
PIP may be paid to people with mental health issues such as people who have a chronic addiction problem to drugs and or alcohol. People experiencing from mental health conditions such as depression, stress, anxieties, personality disorders and other mental health issues may well qualify for financial support.
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Can Using Drugs Or Alcohol Affect My Disability Claim
When you apply for disability, the SSA will make a determination of whether substance abuse is a material contributing factor to your disability. Material means the substance abuse is contributing to, or worsening, your medical condition. The Administration will also consider whether you would qualify for insurance benefits if you did not abuse alcohol or drugs. If they find that without using you still do not qualify, then the SSA will deny benefits.
For example, lets say you have a drug addiction and suffer from seizures. The SSA determines the frequency of seizures would continue even if you stopped using drugs. In that case, you may receive disability benefits. On the other hand, if the SSA determines your seizure condition would medically improve if you stopped using drugs, then the SSA will likely consider your drug addiction material to your disability and deny benefits.
One of the steps in approving disability insurance is the SSA reviewing your medical records. If at one point your doctor noted a suspected substance abuse problem, then the SSA may use this as reason to deny your disability claim. Proving that drug addiction or alcoholism is immaterial, or does not contribute to a disability claim, can be difficult. Have a qualified disability lawyer review your medical records and guide you through the entire disability claim process.
Your Drug Addiction Disability Case
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.
If you have been an addict, but are now in recovery, it is recommended that you work closely with medical professionals and a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate to collect and present the appropriate documentation to support your disability claim in front of the Disability Determination Services .
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How Social Security Decides If You Are Disabled If You Have A Previous Or Current Diagnosis Of Drug Addiction Or Alcoholism
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is estimated that 52 million Americans have used prescription drugs without a prescription or beyond the prescribed use at some point in their lifetime. The latest statistics show that Americans have increased their use of marijuana while decreasing their use of alcohol and other drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Despite the decline, there are still dozens of people in Illinois who still struggle with some form of drug addiction or alcoholism, which can lead to disabling health conditions.
Disability benefits and addiction-related conditions
The Social Security Administration has set up a policy that can grant disability status to people who have, or have had an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Applicants must show that the addiction led to a disabling condition. Furthermore, applicants must also provide evidence that stopping the use of the drug or alcohol will not improve the condition. If these two factors are met, then the SSA can grant that person disability status and approve them for Social Security Disability payments.
There are several health conditions and disorders that may qualify for disability under this policy. These conditions include the following:
Ssa Eligibility Requirements For Disability Benefits
Before we look at the medical requirements associated with drug abuse, its important to cover the basic eligibility criteria which apply to all disability applicants with some rare exceptions, such as advanced terminal illness. Generally speaking:
- Your disability must be severe enough that it prevents you from working, or puts extreme limits on how much work you can perform.
- Your disability must have either already lasted or be expected to last for at least one year, or be expected to result in death.
- If you are performing limited work, you must not be earning more than the income thresholds for SSI and SSDI. The 2015 income limits are $1,090 per month for SSDI claimants and $733 per month for SSI claimants. However, not all income is counted toward the SSI limit, so you can be earning more than $733 and still qualify.
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