Questions for Disability Lawyers: Can You Qualify for Benefits with a Drug Addiction?
People often wonder about their chances of receiving Social Security disability benefits if the government knows of their drug or alcohol addiction. The short answer to this question is that it depends. As with many of the cases that the SSA reviews, it comes down to your ability to perform work and if your disability could be treated by quitting your substance use. With the administration making changes to the language regarding drug addiction in the past year, our disability lawyers decided to give an up-to-date explanation of how these cases are typically decided.
Conditions as a Result of Drug Use
In the simplest of terms, the SSA is not going to grant benefits solely because someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, the long-term damage that may result from drug abuse may fall under some of the conditions that meet disability criteria. Common ailments that may develop because of drug addiction and are also considered for benefits include liver damage, seizures, brain damage, and digestive issues, among other things. Our disability lawyers want to make sure to emphasize that you can qualify for benefits from a drug addiction, but it must be because of a long-term disorder that resulted from the substance use.
Conditions That Can Go Away
Determining if your disability would go away upon quitting drugs is one of the most important things the SSA considers for these cases. If it is established that your symptoms would be relieved upon quitting your substance abuse, then you are unlikely to qualify for disability benefits. Our disability lawyers want to make sure that people are aware of the evaluation that the administration can request, which is essentially a checkup to determine the characteristics of your drug-induced disabilities.
Receiving Benefits While Still on Drugs
If you successfully acquire your Social Security disability benefits but are still using drugs, then the government will probably require you to seek treatment for your addiction. You can still receive your payments from the SSA, though they will be given to a designated party that is responsible for managing your funds. These are usually known as “representative payees,” and their main purpose is to make sure individuals are not spending their disability checks on drugs and alcohol. The disability lawyers at RGG Law believe this is an especially important aspect to keep in mind for those applying with an addiction.
Contact the Disability Lawyers at RGG Law for More Info
Receiving Social Security disability benefits while dealing with addiction is not impossible but can require extensive evidence. It is best to have one of our disability lawyers help you through the process so that you are represented properly and can have the best chance of succeeding. Contact RGG Law at 417-864-4700 for more information on how we can help.