Author: John Carter

Getting Disability Benefits for Drug Addiction or Alcoholism

how to get disability for drug addiction

In general, drug addiction itself may not always be recognized as a standalone disability. However, individuals with drug addiction may still be eligible for disability benefits if their addiction substantially impairs their ability to work. Individuals must still meet the criteria for disability in order to be eligible for benefits, and the SSA will consider an individual’s substance abuse history when determining their eligibility.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that drug addiction or substance abuse can cause irreversible physical or mental conditions. When seeking disability benefits for drug addiction, there are legal considerations that come into play. In the United States, for example, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has specific guidelines to determine disability eligibility for individuals with drug addiction. Before considering whether DAA is material to your disability claim, Social Security must see evidence that you’re using drugs or alcohol in a dysfunctional way. Generally, this means that a doctor has diagnosed you with substance abuse disorder, but a claims examiner might find evidence elsewhere in the medical records (such as clinic notes or hospital intake forms).

how to get disability for drug addiction

Treatment plays a significant role in the recovery process for individuals with drug addiction. It not only helps individuals overcome their addiction but also demonstrates to the Social Security Administration (SSA) the severity and impact of the condition. Disability benefits cover a wide range of disabilities, including physical, mental, and developmental impairments.

Learn more about how OUD canmeet the ADA’s definition of disability at The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Opioid Crisis. This means that you can’t ask your cousin the nurse to give you a fentanyl patch for a sprained ankle and expect that Social Security will ignore any DAA issues. Materiality evaluations are technically a six-step process, but can be boiled down to two fundamental questions about the nature of your addiction or alcoholism.

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Stop Weed Addiction

Yes, George is protected under the ADA because he can’t be denied health care that he would normally qualify for on the basis of his current use of illegal drugs. A public entity can’t deny health services, or services provided in connection with drug rehabilitation to an individual on the basis of that individual’s current illegal use of drugs, if the individual is otherwise entitled to such services. This exception is important, because people often go to jail with legal Suboxone in their system, but may also have additional drugs in their system that they are illegally using. In this case, the illegal use of Gabapentin doesn’t mean that the jail can withhold the legal use of Suboxone unless there is a legitimate medical reason to do so. Social Security does not consider someone to be disabled solely on the basis of a substance abuse problem. It used to, but a 1996 federal law eliminated alcoholism and addiction as grounds for benefit claims.

The CPS worker violated the ADA when he refused to work with Lilian because of her history of drug use. Methadone is a legally prescribed medication, just like insulin is prescribed for diabetes. The ADA applies to all state and local government departments and agencies of those governments (“public entities”). Examples include the criminal justice system (jails, prisons, probation, and the courts) and State and local government-operated recovery homes. The ADA requires that all programs, services, and activities are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

Navigating the legal landscape surrounding disability benefits for drug addiction can be complex. Consulting with an attorney specializing in disability law or seeking guidance from local social services agencies can provide valuable insight and assistance throughout the application process. Those who receive medication to treat opioid use disorders usually have a history of addiction to controlled substances. Suboxone is a legally prescribed medication to help Tom function just like insulin is prescribed for the health and function of a person with diabetes. Tom’s use of Suboxone cannot, by itself, justify a refusal to let Tom see his children on the weekend. Furthermore, suppose a person has been able to maintain sobriety for at least 12 months prior to filing their claim.

Medication To Treat Substance Use Disorders

Rehabilitation programs can be a valuable resource for individuals seeking to overcome drug addiction. They provide a structured and supportive environment where individuals can receive the necessary treatment, therapy, and guidance to break free from addiction. Rehabilitation programs play a vital role in helping individuals overcome drug addiction and regain control of their lives. These programs offer a structured and supportive environment where individuals can receive the necessary treatment and therapy to address their addiction.

When it comes to drug addiction, the question arises as to whether it is considered a disability. The ADA permits reasonable policies or procedures, including drug testing, designed to ensurethat individuals are not engaging in the illegal use of drugs. However, in most cases, anemployer cannot refuse to hire you, fire you, or take other negative actions because your drugtest shows you are taking MOUD or an opioid legally prescribed by your doctor for a validpurpose. Another persuasive method is to get a doctor’s note from a physician or psychiatrist who’s seen you on a regular basis. The most difficult, yet effective, method of proving that you’re disabled despite substance addiction or abuse is to establish a period of sobriety. If you have several months where you weren’t drinking or using, but you still experienced physical or mental symptoms from your underlying condition, that’s a strong indicator that DAA isn’t a material issue in your case.

The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilitiesin everyday activities. The ADA guarantees that people with disabilities have the sameopportunities as everyone else to enjoy employment opportunities, participate in state andlocal government programs, and purchase goods and services. In the agency’s eyes, if you’re using your prescribed medication the way your doctor wants you to, you’re not abusing it, so DAA doesn’t come into play.

  1. For example, if drug addiction has led to a severe mental health disorder or physical impairment that meets the SSA’s definition of disability, the individual may qualify for disability benefits.
  2. The CPS worker violated the ADA when he refused to work with Lilian because of her history of drug use.
  3. Addiction to alcohol is generally considered a disability whether the use of alcohol is in the present or in the past.
  4. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
  5. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers you disabled if you have a “medically determinable” severe impairment that prevents you from working full-time for at least one year.

Jason is a person with a disability covered by the ADA because he is a person in recovery, i.e., no longer illegally using drugs. The half-way house must admit anyone who is receiving medication to treat substance use disorder, unless it completely changes their program (a fundamental alteration). For example, the half-way house doesn’t dispense any medications, so requiring the staff to dispense Suboxone would fundamentally change their operations.

Would You Be Able to Work If You Stopped Using Drugs or Alcohol?

However, the half-way house could allow Jason to leave each day only to receive Suboxone at a treatment center. When it comes to qualifying for disability benefits with drug addiction, certain eligibility criteria must be met. Additionally, providing the necessary medical evidence and documentation is crucial in supporting your claim. In addition to disability benefits, individuals with drug or alcohol addiction may be eligible for other services, such as housing assistance and vocational rehabilitation. These services are designed to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment and live as independently as possible.

Drug Addiction as a Disability

OUD can involve the use of illegal opioids (for example, heroin) or prescription opioids (for example, oxycodone). Yes, she is protected under the ADA because she has a history of an impairment (addiction to cocaine), and has refrained from the use of illegal drugs for eight years which is a good indication that there is not an ongoing problem. The potential employer violated the ADA when he refused to hire Marianna because of her recovery status. Yes, court cases (Pesce v Coppinger and Godsey v Sawyer) have found that the ADA requires correction programs (jails and prisons) to administer medications prescribed to treat substance use disorders. The correctional system must find a way to administer and monitor Suboxone in a way that doesn’t cause a security or safety risk.

It is important to note that an individual’s substance abuse history will be considered when determining their eligibility for disability benefits. Addiction to alcohol and the illegal use of drugs are treated differently under the ADA. Addiction to alcohol is generally considered a disability whether the use of alcohol is in the present or in the past. For people with an addiction to opioids and other drugs, the ADA only protects a person in recovery who is no longer engaging in the current illegal use of drugs. If your medical record has evidence of a substance use disorder, only then can SSA officials consider its effect on your condition.

DAA is considered material when it makes the difference between finding you disabled or not disabled. So even if your medical condition would improve with abstinence or sobriety—but not so much that you’d be able to work—the SSA won’t deny you benefits based on substance abuse. If Social Security finds that DAA is material to your condition, your claim will be denied.