Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) covers workers who can't work because of a mental health or physical affliction. Some people with addiction problems may be unable to work but they may not be qualified for SSDI. However, some may qualify in certain situations. Read on and learn more.
Addiction and Mental Health Issues
The link between addiction and mental health disorders is indisputable. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes a host of mental health conditions. If the claimant can show that the mental health disorder caused them to be unable to work at a job, they may be approved for SSDI benefits. However, addiction is not a recognized physical or mental health condition on its own. This can present applicants with a confusing situation because the SSA, in the past, did recognize addiction to substances as a condition covered by benefits.
If you have both mental health and addiction issues, focus on the mental health aspects of your case when you apply for SSDI. Be ready to show proof that you were diagnosed with a covered mental health illness and that you have tried certain therapies and medication as ordered by a mental health professional.
Addiction and Physical Illnesses
Unfortunately, addiction can also affect a person's physical health. Long-term alcohol use, for instance, can harm a person's liver, cause brain damage, and cause many other associated problems. If you are suffering from a medical condition caused by substance addiction, the condition is likely covered by SSDI benefits.
Although your addiction may have affected your life in dramatic ways, as far as the SSA is concerned, it's not material to your application for benefits. There is no point in mentioning your addiction because you can be covered for a physical or mental condition whether it was caused by addiction or not. The SSA is only concerned with how your condition affects your ability to do your job.
Taking Action When Denied
It's common to experience problems when you apply for SSDI benefits. Almost everyone is denied their benefits the first time no matter what their affliction might be. When you get your denial letter, make an appointment with a Social Security lawyer. This type of lawyer can help you gather evidence to overturn the denial at an appeal hearing. You can pay a Social Security lawyer once your SSDI benefits are approved, and you are paid your back pay. The legal fees are a percentage of your back pay, and the amount of your legal fees are approved by the SSA.
Speak to a Social Security Disability attorney to find out more.