Are you applying for Social Security Disability benefits? Do you also have a drug or alcohol problem? If so, an Augusta Social Security disability lawyer wants you to know if your addiction will prevent you from receiving benefits.
Drug and alcohol addiction can definitely influence whether or not you will receive disability benefits. The primary concern is if your addiction or alcoholism “is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability.”
As it is with normal procedure, The Social Security Administration, or SSA, will complete a sequential evaluation process to determine if you are disabled. This process contains five steps. If, during this five step process, you are not found disabled, then the inquiry is over. If you are found disabled following the five step process, then the SSA will add a sixth step. This sixth step is used to determine of drug use or alcohol is an impact. The SSA will consider the following during this step:
- Is alcoholism or drug addiction involved in your case?
- If it is, if you ceased alcohol and drug use, would you be able to continue working?
Like any impairment in a disability case, an Augusta social security disability attorney can confirm that medical evidence must be used to establish alcohol or drug addiction. This evidence can come from one of the following sources:
- A medical doctor;
- An osteopath; or
- A licensed psychologist.
This evidence is also checked against the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV. This book, published by the American Psychiatric Association, establishes the information needed in diagnosing mental disorders. The evidence provided by a medical professional in your case must meet the qualifications for “substance dependence” or “a substance use disorder.”
You may be curious if your own statement regarding your addiction is sufficient to establish your condition. Your statement is not sufficient enough, even if you made this statement to the medical professional treating your case. However, the SSA can easily establish a substance use disorder because of a wide range of criteria analyzing your pattern of substance use that leads to significant distress or impairment.
Contact an Augusta Social Security Disability Lawyer
For more information on how drug or alcohol use affects your disability claim, contact Augusta Social Security disability lawyer Wilkinson & Magruder, LLP at 706-737-0771.