SSDI Benefits and Marijuana: How Smoking Can Affect Your Claim

SSDI Benefits and Marijuana: How Smoking Can Affect Your Claim

Social Security Disability and SmokingMarijuana is still a tricky subject when it comes to talking about whether or not it’s legal. So far, medical marijuana is legal in 29 states, while recreational use of marijuana is legal in nine states. The majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, which means that more states are likely to follow suit. However, you should be very careful about marijuana use if you are applying for Social Security disability and smoking.  Your application could still end up rejected. Even if you live in a state with legalized marijuana use.

Applying for Social Security Disability and Smoking

Marijuana is a complicated drug to address because it does so many things. It can be incredibly beneficial to patients who are using it to reduce physical pain. Numerous studies have shown that marijuana can effectively treat some of the side effects of cancer chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting, as well. However, if you smoke marijuana, the Social Security Administration is going to look at a number of things. They do this to determine whether you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits or not.

First of all, if the use of marijuana in your state isn’t legal, then you are not likely going to be able to qualify if you use it. Even if you are using it for medical benefits. Why? Most doctors won’t sign off that it is used strictly for medical reasons.

Secondly, the Social Security Administration will look at the disability you are claiming. Then they will look at how marijuana use may have affected that. They will be especially suspicious if you are using marijuana recreationally and not medically. Even if the recreational use of marijuana is legal in your state. For example, if you were injured at work after having smoked marijuana – the two could be linked as a cause and effect.

Additionally, if your claim focuses on a psychiatric problem, then the use of marijuana could end up hurting your claim. This is because many medical experts and psychiatric providers that are used to testify at disability hearings will state that drug use, including marijuana use, can make psychiatric symptoms worse.

Seeking Assistance Before Applying for Benefits

If you are using marijuana for medical reasons, you’ll need to be able to prove that its use is to treat your symptoms. You will also need to prove that it doesn’t exacerbate them. However, even if you are able to do this, you should speak to a Social Security disability advocate. Reason being that even if use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in your state, it’s still illegal on a federal level. A social security disability advocate will be able to help present your case in the strongest possible light. Doing so helps ensure a dismissal does not occur on this account.

Marijuana use, whether medical or recreational, can have an impact on your ability to qualify for Social Security benefits, whether or not you are using it legally in your state. If you’re applying for Social Security disability and smoking, then you should contact us at Social Security Disability Advocates USA for professional guidance. Call us at (602) 952-3200 to schedule a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a representative-client relationship.

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