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Charlotte Social Security Disability Blog

Can substance abuse prevent you from getting disability benefits?

Substance abuse, whether it involves alcohol or drugs, can cause or worsen any number of mental and physical disorders and impairments. Sometimes, people use alcohol and drugs to "self-medicate" in order to deal with mental or physical issues they already have. They too often become addicted to these substances.

If a person has a mental or physical impairment that was caused by substance abuse, can they get Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits? It depends.

Lupus and Social Security Disability benefits

Receiving the diagnosis that you have an autoimmune disease can be frightening but also feel like a relief. You have likely traveled from doctor to doctor while they worked to determine what was causing your symptoms and to rule out the most serious issues, like cancer. However, hearing that you have lupus means you may be facing radial changes in your lifestyle.

Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus, is not often fatal, but it can be debilitating. This means you may reach a point when you are no longer able to perform your duties at work, which may introduce a new set of problems. Where will you get an income? How will you afford health insurance? Without these, how will you obtain the medical care you need? For many, the answer is disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

What other benefits impact the amount of SSD you can qualify for?

If you're applying for -- or already receiving -- Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you may be receiving benefits and payments from other sources as well. Some of these other sources of income can impact how much you're entitled to receive in SSD benefits, while others may not.

These benefits may be reduced if you're receiving other government disability payments from a local, state or federal agency for a nonwork-related injury or illness. This could include temporary disability payments paid by the state or retirement benefits paid to disabled local or state government employees.

Who qualifies for fast-tracking of SSDI benefits?

Nothing in the federal government moves quickly -- and that's certainly true for the gigantic Social Security Administration (SSA), upon which so many Americans rely for a variety of benefits. However, people with certain medical conditions and situations who can qualify to get their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims fast-tracked.

It's important to understand that "fast-tracked" is a relative term. It can still take at least five months from the beginning of your disability to start receiving payments. Of course, the more complete and compelling the medical documentation you provide is, the easier it will be to get the benefits you need within this timeframe.

What should you do if you're denied Social Security Disability?

If your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has been denied, then know that you're not alone. Many applicants have their requests for benefits rejected at first pass. Some individuals have their applications denied multiple times. There are ways that you can appeal the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) decision though.

One option available to you is to simply request a reconsideration of your file. You may want to review your application before doing this. You may want to check and see if any information is missing or if there's something that could be improved upon.

What medical conditions qualify for Social Security Disability?

Many applicants diagnosed with a condition that falls on the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) "Listing of Medical Impairments" will generally qualify to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Individuals who've been diagnosed with other illnesses or impairments that aren't listed there may also be eligible for these benefits if they meet certain additional requirements.

Medical conditions that are listed on the SSA's Listing of Impairments are organized by bodily system. These injuries or illnesses include:

  • Speech or sensory concerns including hearing or vision loss
  • Immune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and lupus
  • Blood disorders like hemophilia and sickle cell disease
  • Digestive concerns such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and liver problems
  • Mental health conditions including autism, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression
  • Respiratory concerns such as cystic fibrosis and asthma
  • Neurological disorders including cerebral palsy, epilepsy or Parkinson's disease
  • Musculoskeletal problems including back, bone and joint problems
  • Cardiovascular disease including chronic heart failure

What is Supplemental Security Income, and are you eligible?

If you are unable to work because of a medical condition, you may be wondering what this means for your financial health. It can be difficult to pay for things you need, get medical care and simply make ends meet when you do not have sufficient income. If you find yourself in this position, you may be eligible for disability income from the Social Security Administration.

Simply having a serious medical condition is not necessarily enough to qualify you for these benefits, and there are different types of disability benefits as well. If you are not eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you could be eligible for Supplemental Security income. It is in your interests to ensure that you understand eligibility requirements and how to move forward with your application.

How do your living arrangements impact your SSI benefits?

If you're considering applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, it's essential to understand what factors affect your eligibility and the amount you're able to receive under the program's regulations.

These federal benefits are available to those who:

Can a person return to work and still collect benefits?

There are many residents of Charlotte who have had to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits are available to help people who are no longer able to work. They can help a person continue to provide for their family but, if a person wants to return to work, will they lose these benefits?

If a person is receiving Social Security Disability benefits and their condition has improved enough for them to return to work, they will be able to keep their Disability benefits for a trial period. A person needs to inform the Social Security Administration that they intend to return to work and the SSA will assign a trial period.

Social Security Disability and Acceptable Medical Sources

Charlotte area residents who are living with a serious illness or injury may want to investigate whether they are eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD). SSD is a program to help those who are no longer able to work because of a serious illness. In order for a person to qualify for SSD they must have a medical diagnosis from an approved medical source. Not every provider is an approved medical source for diagnosing a disability.

Social Security disability can be the answer to a person's prayers. When a person is no longer able to work because of an injury or illness, they may still be eligible to receive SSD payments. An approved medical source is necessary to provide evidence of the disability.

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