Disability claims involving substance abuse disorder can be particularly challenging. Alcoholism and drug dependence are serious problems that gravely harm a person’s health.
If you have questions about whether your long term disability claim for substance abuse is warranted, please contact our law firm without delay. We will review your claim and provide accurate, legal direction so you are able to move forward.
Is Drug Addiction Considered a Disability?
Yes, drug or alcohol addiction can be a valid reason to apply for benefits under a disability insurance policy. If you do file a long term disability claim for substance abuse disorder, be prepared for stiff opposition from your insurance company. Perhaps you have been denied already.
Insurance companies are experts at denying benefits, and claims for substance abuse are at the top of the list. Insurers tend to treat the concept of substance abuse as not truly being disabling. They will argue that you should be able to proactively manage or repair this type of problem through dependence therapy and changing unhealthy habits.
Other reasons for denials of drug or alcohol addiction disability claims:
Check Your Policy Language for Exclusions: Disabling conditions related to substance abuse or pre-existing conditions may be excluded from coverage.
Check Your Policy Definition of Disability: Insurance companies may merge or blur “substance abuse disorder” with mental disorders. Substance abuse and mental disorder exclusions and limitations are often written into the policy. For most disability policies, the maximum time for which you can receive benefits for a mental disorder is 24 months.
Insurers have other strategies to delay or avoid paying disability claims for medical impairments related to substance abuse. From alleging that your application is flawed, to questioning the severity of your condition, even challenging your credibility – dealing with the insurance company takes a knowledgeable and resourceful attorney’s representation.
If you feel you have been wrongly denied, don’t give up! Ask a disability lawyer about your claim, and learn how you can fight back.
Proving disability due to substance abuse disorder can be complicated, and claims are governed by various laws and regulations, both state and federal. We can help.
Can I Get Social Security Disability Insurance for Substance Abuse Disorder?
The answer to this question “depends” largely because of a recent rule change.
As of 2017, Social Security’s Listing of Impairments 12.09 – Substance addiction disorders was removed from the listings. Now, if a person is unable to work due to substance abuse, that person will not be approved for a disability claim solely based on a substance abuse disorder.
Social Security’s terminology for substance abuse is Drug Addiction or Alcoholism (DAA). In deciding a claim involving DAA, Social Security will not consider you disabled if drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination that you are disabled.
So as of the rule change, Social Security may approve you for disability benefits, but only if it determines that you would still be disabled if you were not still using drugs or alcohol.
Social Security looks at it this way:
If your substance abuse is found to be a significant factor in your disability claim – i.e., drug or alcohol abuse contributes in a big way to your condition – you may not be approved for disability.
But suppose you are dependent on drugs or alcohol, and you have a separate disabling condition. If you could remove all traces of substance abuse – would you still have the disabling condition? If the answer is yes, SSA may very well find you are disabled and award benefits. For example, if you have Parkinson’s disease, you would be eligible for SSDI even if you have a substance abuse disorder.
To prevail, your SSDI claim must prove that your disability is clearly due to some other cause.
Question about your claim? We urge you not to give up, but to continue to seek the benefits you deserve through the appeals process and skilled legal representation.
Attorney Help with LTD Claims for Substance Abuse Disorder
We welcome your call, your submitted contact form, or the opportunity to speak with you in person to answer any questions you may have about your case.
There is no time limit and no charge for your initial case review, and there is never any obligation on your part to hire us as your attorney.