Addiction is an issue that touches many people and families in Michigan. Whether it's drugs or alcohol, it can result in negative health consequences as well as an inability to function normally in the workplace. Often, those who are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction will consider Social Security disability benefits. Before moving forward with a claim, it is important to know how the Social Security Administration determines whether the addiction is a contributing factor to the disability.
If the SSA has issued a finding for disability and there is medical proof that there is an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the addiction must be found to be a contributing factor to the disability. When the alcohol or drug problem is examined by the SSA, there is a certain process that the agency will follow. The most important factor is whether or not the disability would be in place if the claimant was no longer using drugs or alcohol. To make this decision, the mental and physical limitations that the claimant suffers from will be looked at. If these limitations would still be in place if the claimant stopped using drugs or alcohol, then the disability benefits will be allowed to continue. If not, they might be stopped.
Once the drug and alcohol addiction is no longer a factor, the disability might not be so severe that it will warrant SSD benefits. Then the drug and alcohol addiction will be seen as a contributing factor to the disability. Once the disability has been found to be in place independent of the drug or alcohol addiction, the addictions will not be seen as contributing factor to the disability since they would be there either way.
Addiction is a complicated subject that can happen for many reasons. Those who are suffering from a disability might use alcohol or drugs as a means of assuaging their pain. Others might have suffered from a disability as a direct result of their addictions. The SSA has certain requirements linked to addictions when deciding whether or not to provide SSD benefits to claimants. To fully understand and receive assistance with receiving disability benefits while addicted or as a result of being addicted, it is important to speak to a qualified legal professional.
Source: socialsecurity.gov, "416.935. How we will determine whether your drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability.," accessed on Aug. 19, 2015