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Category: Social Security Disability

How Does Drug Addiction Affect Social Security?

It is important to know that social security benefits do not cover drug addiction. If you are seeking social security benefits because of a drug addiction, you will be denied. However, if you are — or were in the past — addicted to drugs, you can still receive benefits. Below are some things you’ll want to keep in mind should you decide to apply for social security benefits while also having a diagnosed drug addiction.

When you file your social security claim, you’ll need to make sure you meet the following requirements:

  1. You must make a working salary of less than $1,170 a month.
  2. Your condition must be long term (expecting to last at least a year).
  3. Your condition must be damaging your ability to work.

Applying for Social Security if You’ve Had Past Drug Use

If you’ve suffered from permanent changes to your physical or mental health due to a past drug addiction, you can qualify for social security benefits. Your condition will have to meet certain criteria depending on how it affects you. It’s best to speak with an attorney directly to discuss your specific case.

Applying for Social Security with a Current Drug Addiction

While you can’t receive social security benefits for your drug addiction, it’s still possible to receive benefits for a different condition while also dealing with a drug addiction. However, if the Social Security Administration determines that your condition would go away if you were to stop using drugs, your claim will be denied.

Do You Need Medical Evidence?

If you’re claiming social security benefits due to a condition caused by past drug use, you’ll need to provide medical evidence through psychiatric reports, names and addresses of your doctors, and a full history of your medical records (including hospitalizations and medications).

If you have additional questions about claiming benefits while dealing with a current or past drug addiction, be sure to speak with an experienced attorney. We can help you determine whether or not your case is likely to qualify and help guide you through the process.

Applying for social security benefits? Don’t go it alone. Speak with an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process. Give us a call — at Oxner + Permar we offer a free consultation.

Getting Social Security Benefits for Mental Disabilities

Struggling with a mental illness is a serious issue. If you’re someone living with a mental illness such as depression, OCD, anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder, then you know it can be a huge strain on your job as well as your personal life. Mental illnesses are often just as serious as physical ones. Fortunately, if you suffer from a debilitating mental illness that makes it difficult to perform your job, you can apply for social security benefits.


However, many people run into a significant challenge: It can be much more difficult to prove to a court the effects of a mental illness as opposed to a physical one. Today I want to share a few tips to keep in mind when applying for social security:


  1. Show a History of Treatment

    Proving to the court that you have a history of coping with your mental illness is a good way to demonstrate not only the effects of the illness, but also your desire to get better. This will help your case tremendously.

  2. Receive a Diagnosis from a Psychiatrist or Psychologist

    With any disability, the court wants to see that you’ve have sought an expert opinion. A psychiatrist or psychologist will have the training and expertise to give the court a solid basis on which to form their decision.

  3. See a Doctor Before You File for Disability

    In order to be approved, not only will you need a diagnosis, but it will need to be a recent one. Remember that in the State of North Carolina, you’ll need to have seen a doctor within in the 90 days before you file.

  4. Take All of Your Prescribed Medicines

    Not only does taking your medicine show your interest in improving your condition, it also allows the court to accurately assess your mental health. They want to be able to evaluate your mental state while receiving treatment.

  5. Provide School Records If Filing for Long Term Disability

    If possible, it’s recommended that you submit your school records while filing for long term disability. This will allow the court to get a more complete view of your mental history. For instance, they’ll be able to assess previous testing you took, as well as show difficulties you may have struggled with in the past.


As with any case, the best thing you can do is to follow the advice of your attorney. They will be able to instruct you on what you need to submit and what you need to do before filing. At Oxner + Permar, we provide free, 30-minute consultations, so If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.


Did you know that social security benefits cover mental illness? If you have any questions about how to apply for these benefits, be sure to contact an experienced attorney.

Trump’s Employment Freeze Causes Wait Times to Grow

If you’re waiting for a social security disability claim settlement, then you know there are few things more frustrating than biding time until your hearing — especially when the benefits you will receive are essential to your day-to-day living. As of last spring, the average wait time for a hearing was just under a year and a half, which means more than a year has gone by since those employees were unable to work. This is a serious problem within the system.


Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things will be improving anytime soon. With Trump’s federal hiring freeze, there’s a good chance that these wait times will only get longer. One way to alleviate long wait times would be to hire more judges who could hear these cases. However, with this freeze, that’s no longer an option.


Despite the federal hiring freeze, people will continue to have a need for social security disability. Even though this freeze is temporary – it should lift when Trump’s administration can work out a new budget that supposedly accounts for the best use of Americans’ tax dollars – that doesn’t mean that will be the end of this problem.


Cases will continue to pile up until the freeze is lifted, and when the freeze is lifted it could take ages for the court system to catch up. Sorting through the backlog is going to take time. And unfortunately, most people who are waiting for a hearing, can’t afford to wait.


If you need help navigating your social security disability claim, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney at Oxner + Permar. Our free consultation can help you take the next step in getting the benefits you deserve.


What Are My Chances of Winning an Appeal?

If you’ve filed for Social Security Disability, it can be devastating to find out your claim has been denied. Especially if you believe your claim has been denied unfairly. But denial is not necessarily the end of the road. There are steps you can take to appeal this decision. At this point, however, you might be wondering: Is it really worth the effort? What are my chances of winning an appeal?

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Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say for certain. Every situation is different, and therefore, there will be factors and variables that affect everyone’s chances differently. I’ll give you a few statistics. When an appeal claim is at the reconsideration level, there’s an 85% chance it will be rejected. At the hearing level, there’s a 50/50 chance a claim will be rejected. However, there are things you can do to increase your chances. For one, hiring an attorney will increase the chance of your appeal succeeding.


There are many factors that are taken into consideration when reviewing your case — such as whether or not your condition has worsened over time. They will also likely look at whether or not you’ve been following the proper procedures. For instance, did you let Social Security know of any changes to your condition when you filed your appeal? Have you been keeping your files up-to-date, making notes of appointments and procedures? Have you complied with all requests made by the Disability Determination Services?


It is important to make sure that you are keeping your records up-to-date, and an attorney can help make sure that you’re staying on the right track. The presence of an attorney can increase your chances of your appeal succeeding, but it’s also a good idea to work with an attorney because we can help you navigate your claim and make sure that you’re doing everything to receive the benefits that you deserve.


At Oxner + Permar, we’re dedicated to making sure that you receive the care and compensation you need — and with more than $275 million in awards and settlements, we have the experience to protect your rights.

How Do I Prove Credibility of My Symptoms?

Social Security Disability

In order to keep your Social Security benefits, you’re going to need to prove to the Social Security Administration that your disabilities and symptoms are as severe as you claim. This can be difficult to prove when symptoms such as exhaustion, memory loss, and difficulties with communicating or your senses are based on your word. However, there are things you can do to prove that you are being adversely affected by your symptoms.


If you show that you are visiting a doctor and following their advice, it demonstrates that your symptoms are bad enough to require medical intervention. It also demonstrates the need for the advice in the first place. For instance, if your doctor prescribes that you wear a knee brace, wearing the brace will prove that your knee pain is bad enough to warrant one. On the other hand, if you are not seeking treatment or following advice, Social Security will assume that your injuries are not as bad as you say.


However, there are a few reasons that you might not follow your doctor’s advice, and Social Security does take these into consideration.


  1. You are uninsured or unable to afford treatment.
  2. Treatment worsens your condition (e.g. because of side effects).
  3. Your doctor believes that treatment will not help you.
  4. You find alternative treatments (e.g. changing routines to alleviate pain, exercising, etc.)
  5. The prescribed treatment is against your religion.


Mental illness is considered a special case when dealing with Social Security Disability benefits. It is fairly common for those with mental illnesses to miss appointments or neglect treatment. In many cases, these are symptoms of their mental illness. Therefore, Social Security is likely to make exceptions for those with mental illnesses.


Seeking medical treatment and following your doctor’s advice is the best thing you can do to make sure you maintain your social security benefits. If you have any questions, be sure to contact an attorney for a free consultation.