Tag: Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability and Drug Addiction: Interactions and Implications

Social Security Disability and Drug Addiction: Interactions and Implications

social security and drug addiction
SSDA USA is here with key information on social security and drug addiction.

Many people think that drug addiction and social security benefits don’t go together. For the most part, this is true. However, the heart of the matter is much more complex. If you or a loved one suffer from a drug addiction, don’t lose hope just yet. There is still a chance you or they may qualify and not be denied social security disability benefits. Social Security Disability Benefits USA is here with the key points that you need to know.

What is a Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is when a person exhibits drug seeking behavior/drug use that is difficult to manage. People may seek/use the drug even in spite of harmful consequences, and the brain may even rewire itself to make quitting hard to accomplish. 

The neurobiological changes can be so substantial that the person may not be able to function without using the drug. Even if initial drug use is voluntary, some may feel a compulsion to continue using the drug as time goes on. In extreme circumstances, some people may purchase the drug even if they cannot afford it, or, as another example, some may steal money from their friends or family to purchase the drug and satisfy their urges.

Drug addictions usually do not occur overnight; generally, many people develop an addiction overtime. This makes the drug addiction subtle and nearly unnoticeable. Additionally, such addictions can occur with a variety of substances. Do you need a cup of coffee to avoid a headache in the morning? What about a tylenol? In addition to more dangerous drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, etc., common stimulants, prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter drugs can all contribute to drug addiction.

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

Social security disability benefit applications can be tricky to navigate as individual circumstances are unique. There are, however, a few basic guidelines to help you navigate the social security benefits application process. You may qualify for disability benefits if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Your condition prevents you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which, for 2019, is $1,220/month for non-blind individuals and $2,040/month for blind individuals.
  • Your condition is expected to result in death or has lasted/is expected to last at least one full calendar year.
  • You are no longer able to perform past relevant work due to a physical and/or mental impairment. 
  • Your impairment meets or equals one of the medical severity listings in SSA’s Blue Book. 

In addition, you must have earned a certain number of work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Generally speaking, you’ll need 40 work credits (one per $1,360, up to four per year); however, younger people need fewer credits to qualify for SSDI.

Additionally, depending on the circumstances, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as this program aids impoverished individuals who suffer from disability, blindness, or who are elderly. Also, SSI does not depend on work credits.It’s even possible to qualify for both programs concurrently. If you have questions about applying for benefits, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA today.

To qualify for either program, though, you’ll need to provide medical evidence and have your case reviewed by your state’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) center. Just having a doctor say you’re disabled doesn’t necessarily make it so. The application process is a long and arduous one, and things can become quite complex. In fact, just the initial application can take months to process.

If you’re approved, you should be all set with your benefits, and you should receive them regularly, provided you continually meet the disability requirements. If you don’t initially qualify, that’s OK; most people don’t. Speak with one of our attorneys to learn more about how you can appeal an unfavorable DDS decision.

Is a Drug Addiction Compatible with Social Security Benefits?

This is the tricky part. Whether you get approved for social security disability benefits depends on whether your drug addiction contributes to your disability. If your Disability Determination Services (DDS) center decides that your drug addiction does contribute to your disability, you may not qualify for disability. In other words, they may decide that, had it not been for your drug use, your disability would not exist, and you would likely be able to work.

For instance, if you smoke cigarettes and suffer serious coughing fits, the DDS may determine that your use of cigarettes contributes to your condition, and that your coughing would likely go away if you were to stop smoking. Likewise, if you ingest copious amounts of alcohol and suffer high blood pressure, the same line of logic applies.

However, if you have a drug addiction, don’t lose hope. It’s still possible to receive social security disability benefits. You must simply prove that your disability is independent of your drug use. 

In other words, you must show that even if you were to quit your drug use, your disability would still persist and would still render you unable to engage in SGA. Even if your drug use caused your condition in the first place, you still may be eligible for benefits. If you have questions about social security and drug addiction, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA today.

Have Questions About Social Security and Drug Addiction?

If you have questions about social security and drug addiction, contact SSDA USA right away. Our team works tirelessly for your social security benefits so you don’t have to. Get in touch with us anytime at (602) 952-3200. Additionally, you can reach us online through a contact form or through our convenient LiveChat feature. Consultations are absolutely free. Don’t keep your questions waiting any longer; get in touch with us today!

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.

Injury Lawsuit Settlements & Social Security Disability Benefits

Injury Lawsuit Settlements & Social Security Disability Benefits

Effect of Injury Lawsuit Settlements & SSDI Benefits
How injury lawsuit settlements may affect SSDI benefits.

If you experienced an injury or an illness as a result of a third party’s fault, then you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit. You would do this in order to obtain compensation to cover the cost of related medical costs and loss of work. As well as damages for pain and suffering. However, if you are currently collecting Social Security benefits, then you might how any injury lawsuit settlements could affect your monthly benefits.

Will Injury Lawsuit Settlements Affect Your Benefits?

An injury lawsuit settlement could potentially affect your benefits, but only in certain cases. If you collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then you have a higher chance of your payments affecting your benefits.

This is because to maintain eligibility for SSI, you will have to pass an asset test. Which includes almost all income and payments you receive. Including lawsuit settlements. Meaning that if your settlement pushes you over the limit, you’ll no longer be eligible for SSI. Fortunately, there are ways to get around this, such as by establishing a special needs trust (SNT).

However, if you collect SSDI, then any injury lawsuit settlements that you receive should not have an impact on your benefits. While the Social Security Administration does have an income limit on how much you can earn on a yearly basis in order to remain eligible for benefits, they do not consider injury settlements or court awards as additional wages.

But, there are a few exceptions to this. First of all, if a portion of the award settlement compensates you for lost wages, it will count as income. Additionally, any damages awarded, such as punitive damages or exemplary damages, will be considered unearned income.

How Can an Injury Lawsuit Settlement Affect Your Benefits?

Thankfully, your injury lawsuit settlement should not affect the amount of your SSDI payments. Nevertheless, the fact that you are on SSDI can end up affecting your injury lawsuit settlement.

This is because your settlement won’t be able to include lost wages. Since you shouldn’t be able to work as a result of your disability. Settlements that don’t take into account lost wages (as a result of an inability to work due to the injury) are going to end up being less than you might think.

Additionally, if you receive a lump sum settlement, it could end up affecting your Medicaid benefits.

You will need to report how much your settlement was to the Social Security Administration. This must occur within ten days of receiving it. As a result, the government could end up reducing your Medicaid. In addition, any request for reimbursement for the benefits that you have received.

Regardless, since your Medicare benefits are based on work history not income or assets your benefits should not change.

If you are collecting SSDI payments and were injured or fell ill due to a third party, then you should not worry about how an injury lawsuit settlement might affect your benefits. In most cases, they won’t affect your benefits at all. You’ll only need to be concerned if you are collecting SSI.

If you need more advice concerning your SSDI payments and whether or not they might be affected by a personal injury lawsuit settlement, then schedule a free consultation with SSDA USA by giving us a call at 602-952-3200 or by using our LiveChat feature.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.

Fathers Should Know These 3 Things About Social Security Disability Benefits

Fathers Should Know These 3 Things About Social Security Disability Benefits

Benefits from Father's SSDI

If you’re a father and you or your spouse has experienced a disability that prevents either of you from being able to work, then collecting Social Security disability benefits is even more important. Especially,  since there’s a good chance that you will need financial assistance in order to help your children. However, collecting benefits and ensuring that your family can collect benefits can sometimes be a bit tricky. There are three main things that you’re going to want to know about collecting father’s Social Security benefits. Knowing these key things will help  ensure that your family will be financially protected.

What to Know About Father’s Social Security Disability Benefits

The following are three of the most important things that you should know about father’s Social Security disability benefits:

1. The Importance of Planning Ahead.

If you pass away and you are collecting benefits, you’ll want to make sure that your spouse and children will be cared for properly. You should leave behind instructions on how to deal with your Social Security benefits. Your surviving spouse should report your death to the Social Security Administration so that they can discontinue your benefits. If a check arrives for your benefits following your death, it should be returned.

This, however, does not mean that your spouse and children will not receive anything. Your spouse may be eligible for a one-time death benefit if you pass away and you had been collecting benefits. Additionally, your surviving spouse and/or qualifying dependents (such as your children), could qualify for ongoing payments. These payments can be as much as 80 percent of what your benefit was depending on their employment.

2. Child’s Social Security Income and Taxes.

If your child receives Social Security income, whether it’s survivor benefits from a deceased parent (your spouse) or due to a disability, then you might be wondering whether you need to report this as income, especially if you are in charge of the benefits.

Fortunately, you do not need to report their benefits as income on your tax return. As long as that is the only income that the child is earning, they do not have to file or report it either. However, the child will have to report the benefits on the child’s return if they have enough other income requiring them to file. This means that even if you and your spouse divorce, you will not need to worry about reporting your child’s Social Security income on your taxes. No matter who is in charge of the benefits check.

3. Qualifying for Father’s Social Security Benefits.

If your spouse is disabled or has passed away, then you may be eligible to receive father’s Social Security benefits. First of all, you will have to have a child in your care in order to qualify for parents’ benefits. This child must be under 16 or a mentally handicapped child over 16. You must have parental responsibility for their health and well-being.

Essentially, this means that you have to show a strong interest in raising the child properly. As well as oversee all their activities. You must also have control over their development and provide personal services for them if they are disabled. These personal services include:

  • Cleaning them,
  • Feeding them,
  • Dressing them,
  • Managing their activities, Managing their funds, and/or
  • Being physically present for the child as a result of the nature of their disability.

When it comes to your spouse and kids, Social Security benefits can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to figuring out who collects what in the event of a death. These are three things that you should know about father’s Social Security benefits so that you have a better idea of what you may be eligible for and how to plan ahead so that your family can get the financial assistance they need in the event that you pass.

For more professional advice concerning father’s Social Security benefits, or for information on qualifying for SSDI in general, call us at 602-952-3200 to schedule a free consultation with Social Security Disability Advocates USA today. Also, feel free to use our online LiveChat feature to get in touch with a live representative.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.