Substance addiction is currently a major subject in the United States, especially in light of the opioid crisis. Many individuals have opinions on this issue, sometimes without comprehending the core causes of why people choose to drink or use pharmaceuticals that are not prescribed to them.
It’s pretty typical to use alcohol and non-prescription medications to cope with the discomfort of a chronic condition. Using drugs or alcohol while filing for Social Security disability benefits, on the other hand, might jeopardize your claim.
How can we help you?
As SSDI lawyers, we understand that the Social Security Administration (SSA) must follow specific regulations in order to determine whether a claimant (person filing for Social Security disability payments) is handicapped and accept his or her application.
First, if a claimant fails to follow prescribed therapy without good reason, the SSA will not find him or her handicapped. Second, if a claimant’s drug or alcohol addiction is proven to be a “contributing factor material to the finding of disability,” the claimant cannot be declared eligible to benefits.
So, what does this mean for someone who is filing for SSDI benefits? It basically means that if you don’t follow your doctor’s directions — for example, if you drink alcohol while taking medicine that expressly indicates that you shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking the prescription — you might be judged not handicapped under SSA guidelines.
It also means that your claim might be dismissed if you are discovered to be addicted to drugs or alcohol, and this is a contributing reason to your disability. Because alcohol is a depressive, it might be considered a contributing factor to your depression if you consume it on a frequent basis to cope with your despair.
Hire an attorney now if this is an issue for you
Because many people are unaware of these laws or how they may affect an SSDI claim, it is critical to have an experienced SSDI lawyer representing you throughout the process. For example, if you are taking a medication to help you sleep that was not prescribed to you (such as one given to you by a family member or friend), a skilled SSDI attorney can help you avoid potential problems with your SSDI claim by having you speak with your medical provider about whether this medication is appropriate for you and your condition, and if so, obtaining a prescription.
Similarly, if you’re taking marijuana to address a medical issue, your SSDI lawyer can talk to you about the legal implications. Despite the fact that it is legal in California, it is still illegal under federal law. Taking marijuana only if recommended by a registered health care professional and in line with state regulations is the best method to prevent having your SSDI claim dismissed due to illegal drug usage.
Non-prescription medications and alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on your Social Security disability application. The best course of action is to avoid taking any substances that are illegal or that have not been prescribed for you, and to only consume alcohol in suitable amounts if your doctor has given you permission to do so. This might assist you avoid having your claim dismissed because of your drug or alcohol usage.
The attorneys at PLBSH can assist you if you are considering submitting a claim for SSDI benefits. We have extensive expertise managing all aspects of the Social Security disability claims procedure, from the original application through the appeals process. To learn more about how we may assist you, please contact us at (800) 435-7542.