Disability Determination for Drug Addiction

(The judge also raised constitutional concerns.) And in 2019, a different federal court ruled similarly in a case involving a Maine jail’s ban on buprenorphine. By establishing precedents, the initial cases can also open the door for future legal action, whether by the government or by advocates. Indeed, Justice Department attorneys have cited cases not brought by the government as guiding their antidepressants and alcohol interactions work in this area. The question remains whether these individual deals are having a broader impact — whether they’re influencing other institutions to change their policies before they feel the heat of a federal investigation. “This kind of discrimination is overt,” Gregory Dorchak, an assistant U.S. attorney in Massachusetts who has led many of these investigations, said on a recent webinar.

You can’t receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI or SSI) based on drug addiction alone (since a rule change in 1996), even if your dependence on drugs makes it impossible for you to work. So if drug addiction is your only impairment, you won’t qualify for disability benefits. And in fact, if you’re addicted to and using drugs, it can prevent you from getting disability benefits for other impairments as well. However, if you’ve stopped taking drugs and the Social Security Administration (SSA) believes you’re in recovery, you should be able to get disability benefits for drug-related damage and other impairments. Read on to learn how substance abuse can affect your disability claim, how the SSA treats addiction, and how to qualify for benefits.

  1. Their evaluation will help the SSA make an informed decision regarding your disability claim.
  2. For example, if drug addiction has resulted in chronic liver disease, the impairment may be evaluated under the listing for liver disorders.
  3. And in April, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division released guidance outlining how the ADA applies to substance use disorders, aiming to explain to people with addiction histories that they have rights they might not be aware of.

The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for them. Yes, she is protected under the ADA because she has a history of an impairment (addiction to marijuana withdrawal: symptoms timeline and tips for coping 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.

Social Security Administration’s Stance on Drug Addiction

It is important to remember that addiction is a disease and that it is treatable. With the right help and support, anyone struggling with addiction can recover successfully. Major life activities include, but aren’t limited to, walking, seeing, caring for oneself, learning, thinking, communicating, as well as the operation of bodily functions, such as neurological and brain functions. BUT the person has no prescription;OR is using more than is prescribed;OR has a fraudulent prescription. This is the structure under which people’s rights are protected and responsibilities are defined. At this stage, an employer may only make disability-related inquiries and require medical exams if they are job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Structure of the ADA

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. Questions about past addiction to illegal drugs or whether Lily participated in a rehabilitation program are prohibited.

How to Stop Shopping Addiction?

The severity and impact of the addiction on an individual’s ability to work and function in daily life play a crucial role in determining disability eligibility. It’s important to understand the criteria for disability under the ADA and SSA and the various treatment options available. By addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction, people with disabilities can overcome their struggles and live healthier lives.

What does cocaine do to the body and brain?

To qualify for disability for any of these impairments, you’d have to fulfill the SSA’s requirements for the related listings. But if you’re still using drugs—even prescription drugs if you’re using more than your doctor prescribed—the SSA will definitely make a DAA determination to decide if your impairments would go away if you stopped using drugs. And you’d have a very steep uphill battle convincing the SSA that your depression, anxiety, seizures, or issues caused by a personality disorder wouldn’t go away if you stopped using drugs. Yes, the recovery home discriminated against Sofia under the ADA because she wasn’t allowed to take her medication while participating in the treatment program. Sofia is considered a person with a disability because she has anxiety, depression, and addiction to alcohol, which are mental impairments that substantially limit Sofia’s major life activity of caring for herself.

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