How Your RFC and Drug and Alcohol Abuse Can Affect the SSA Decision

For more info about disability benefits, speak to a Charlotte disability attorney by calling the law offices of Bridgman Law Offices at 704-815-6055 today.

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How Your RFC and Drug and Alcohol Abuse Can Affect the SSA Decision

To obtain your disability benefits, a Charlotte disability attorney can help you demonstrate that you are too disabled to perform any of your significant jobs from the last 15 years, or that your disability resulting from drug or alcohol abuse would persist even if you ceased taking them.

The Social Security Administration will use your RFC to determine whether you are disabled

Your Charlotte disability attorney will explain to you that the first step the Social Security Administration will take in determining whether you are disabled is finding out what work tasks you can perform notwithstanding your impairment. This process is called a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment, which serves two purposes.

  1. SSA will use it to confirm whether you are still able to perform any major job you have performed in the past 15 years. If not, then
  2. The SSA will convert your RFC as sedentary, light or medium work, or other work level defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

The combination of your RFC, age, education and employment experience will help the decision maker and your Charlotte disability attorney decide whether you are disabled.

Your Charlotte disability attorney will explain how your drug addiction or alcoholism is "material" to the disability determination process

To find out how your alcoholism and drug abuse can affect the SSA's determination of your disability, your Charlotte disability lawyer must ascertain whether your capacity to work will return if you simply stopped abusing drugs or alcohol. Let's suppose that you can't work due to a disabling liver disease caused by heavy drinking:

  • If your ability to work was restored once you stopped drinking, the SSA will conclude that you would be healthy but for your alcoholism and disqualify you for benefits.
  • Otherwise, the SSA will find that alcoholism is not material and you may qualify for benefits. Your Charlotte disability lawyer should remind you that you will not be disqualified even if:
    • Alcoholism was the very cause of the liver damage.
    • You have not stopped drinking.

Contact Us

To speak with a Charlotte disability attorney who is ready to assist you in your efforts to obtain Social Security disability benefits, call the law offices of Bridgman Law Offices at 704-815-6055. The initial consultation is free.