The Impact of Substance Abuse on Your Disability Claim

Episode 4:  Louisville Social Security benefits attorney Trevor Smith explains the risk of self-medicating or substance abuse on your disability claim.  Documentation of your treatment for your disability is extremely important.  If you’ve decided to self-medicate, important records and notes from a medical professional will be missing.

Discussions you have with your attorney are private and confidential.  It’s safe to tell Trevor everything you’re doing in an effort to cope with your situation.  Substance abuse is a red flag for the social security system.  It’s going to be a major roadblock, but there may be options available.  Trevor and his team can refer you to community resources to help you with substance abuse issues.

If cannabis-abuse disorder, methamphetamine abuse or alcohol-abuse disorder shows up in your medical record, your case will be much more complicated.  This can often show up if you’ve been admitted to an emergency room and your blood work or toxicology report indicates drug use, the judge will consider that in his/her decision.

However, if Trevor can show a significant period sobriety, during which the underlying reason for the disability is still present, an effective argument may be able to be made on your behalf.

The judge has the option of appointing a payee who will help to manage your disability payments.  This person will receive your check and provide the funds to you to ensure the money is spent responsibly.  This could be a parent or family member.  Trevor has experience in helping to get that type of arrangement set up for his clients.

Smith and Wax is a small firm with a very real family environment.  Our clients are treated that way.  People can feel comfortable and safe when meeting with them.  The bottom line is that substance abuse is a complicated issue that can impact your ability to get your benefits.  It begins with open and honest communication between you and your attorney.

You can contact Smith and Wax at (502) 581-1133.  The website is

Important Disclaimers:  The information provided on this podcast is for general informational purposes only.  It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  You should seek the advice of an attorney for guidance related to your specific situation.  This podcast maybe freely shared, but may not be the modified or edited in any way.  This is an attorney advertisement.   Principal office is located in Louisville, KY.  Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson.

substance abuse and your application for disability benefits