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Can Substance Abuse Affect My Social Security Disability Claim?

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A drug addiction can cause significant problems for an individual. It may be difficult to work and to enjoy other aspects of life. The drug addiction alone will give you the ability to collect Social Security disability. However, if you suffer from another condition, you may or may not be able to collect disability.

Receiving A Diagnosis

If you ask your doctor about whether you are suffering from a drug addiction, he or she will inquire about the drug in question. Based on your response to his questions, he or she may determine that you should meet with a mental health professional. A mental health evaluation can determine whether you suffer from a drug addiction. 

How Substance Abuse Can Lead To A Claim Denial

When you are suffering from a mental or physical condition, this may lead to you being tempted to engage in drug abuse. If this occurs, you may still be able to collect disability. It is recommended that you see a dual diagnosis substance abuse specialist who will offer you a treatment program that can help you recover both from your substance abuse problem and your mental health problem. For instance, you may suffer from depression and turn to drinking in order to cope with depression. To recover, you would not only need treatment for depression, but also for alcoholism.

If your drug abuse is the cause of your mental or physical health condition, though, you may not be able to collect disability. For instance, if you are taking a drug that causes you to feel depressed when you are suffering from withdrawal symptoms, this cannot be used to file a disability claim. This is another situation where it is recommended that you visit a dual diagnosis substance abuse counselor. Even if you are no longer suffering from a substance abuse addiction, you may suffer physical or mental impairments that remain afterward. You may collect Social Security disability for these impairments. 

Getting Help

Because of the confusion regarding how substance abuse and disability can affect your claim, it is recommended that you speak with a disability attorney. He or she will be able to examine your situation and can argue for why you still deserve to receive Social Security disability. He or she can also help you understand how receiving treatment for your substance abuse addiction may affect your disability claim. You will need to work closely with a medical professional as well to obtain the documents that are necessary to prove your case.  You can also contact companies like Scott E. Shaffman Attorney At Law.