Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits have been difficult to obtain if the Claimant was battling a drug or alcohol addiction. As of March 22, 2013, Social Security Disability judges have a clarified “drug addiction and alcohol” (DAA) Social Security ruling to follow.
The new Social Security Ruling (SSR) states that the key factor judges should examine in determining whether drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability is whether Social Security Disability judges would still find a claimant disabled if he or she stopped using drugs or alcohol. The drug addiction or alcoholism is material to the determination of disability if the claimant would not meet the definition of disability if he or she were not using drugs or alcohol. In those circumstances, Social Security Disability benefits would be denied. However, the DAA is not material if the claimant would still meet the definition of disability if he or she were not using drugs or alcohol. In those circumstances, the claimant would be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.
The rules remains that if drug addiction and alcoholism is the only impairment, the claimant is not entitled to Social Security Disability. It is only when the claimant has other impairments that will not improve to the point of nondisability in the absence of drug addiction or alcoholism that the claimant would be entitled to Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
If you know someone who is battling Social Security while at the same time battling the demons of drug addiction or alcoholism, it is important that he or she talk with an attorney who understands the clarified requirements needed to obtain Social Security Disability benefits.
Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson help individuals get the Social Security Disability benefits that they paid for and are entitled to. Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. has been caring for clients since 1955. If you need answers to your Social Security Disability questions, call Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson today at 727-724-7853 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.