Hi, my name is Andrew Kinney. I’m an attorney at Hoglund law offices. I practice social security disability law. I also help people with supplemental security income, otherwise known as SSI. Today I wanted to talk about substance abuse and social security claims.
One of the things we learn when people first call our office is, is whether they have a chemical dependency problem. The reason we ask is this, sometimes chemical dependency can destroy your social security claim. I will explain. If someone has major depressive disorder but they also have a chemical addiction to either alcohol or illegal drugs or even prescription drugs, one of the problems is that social security looks at that underlying addiction and tries to blame the symptoms on the underlying addiction that you have. So in other words, social security tries to blame how bad your depression is on the substance abuse rather than the depression.
The legal term for this in social security parlance is “materiality.” Materiality means that social security has found that the chemical dependency is material or a cause to how bad your problems are. Generally it is mental illness where this comes in to play most often, in my experience.
What do you do about chemical dependency problems? Well, there is a lot of advice that you should get from a doctor or a chemical dependency counselor. That is beyond my expertise, but what I can say is that you need to get any help possible from a health care profession to intervene and help stop your addiction. The reason is, if you can stop your addiction early on, you have a greater chance, a much greater chance to proving along the line that you are not chemically addicted and that you are in turn, disabled.
If you have further questions about chemical dependency and how it affects your social security case feel free to Google us at ‘Hoglund law chemical dependency.’ You will find a lot of hits on our blog about chemical dependency. If you have questions about a pending social security claim or think you might want to apply for a claim, please feel free to call us at 1-800-850-7867. We will be happy to talk with you. Thank you