Social Security Disability benefits for addicts?

Will buprenorphine show up in drug tests? Can nurses take Suboxone? Can I do drug court on methadone or buprenorphine? My PO says NO medication-assisted treatments.
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River9
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Social Security Disability benefits for addicts?

Post by River9 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:59 pm

Hello everyone. I am actually responding to a thread started by Michele56. Hello Michelle 56. Your issue with your doctor is not uncommon. Something very similar happened to me in 2011 when I applied for Social Security Disability for my depression and migraines. In 2009 I got really really sick with an Upper Respiratory infection. I finished off a bottle of cough syrup that had some sort of opiate in it. Till this day I refer to it as the "magic syrup". I could not afford to miss work and I was very very sick. So I called and requested a refill. They would not return my calls. So I kept calling. I think they finally ended up calling in a refill for me. Either way, I survived whatever crud it was and moved on. Fast forward a couple of years. By then I was completely disabled from the depression and the migraines. I still suffer from those issues. I have had to fight my way through mental illness my entire life. I had been on state disability for one year and it was coming to an end. I had absolutely no problems getting my State Disability approved. But my initial Social Security application was DENIED. Of course I appealed it and requested a hearing. At the hearing the judge was insinuating that my depression and migraines were a product of drug addiction. I could not understand why all he wanted to talk about was the possibility that I might be addicted to prescription medication. So, I took a look at my medical records. I really should have done that before hand, but were I in a place that I could do that I would not have been applying for Social Security Disability. Sure enough I came to the cough syrup issue. A PA had written in my permanent medical record that I was drug seeking by calling and calling. It said something to the effect of "Patient is exhibiting drug seeking behavior and should be monitored closely for addiction." Under the United States Social Security Code, a person can not be granted SSI/SSDI if their disability is solely for or made worse by drug addiction. Once I found where the problem was coming from I was able to produce ample medical records documenting my long struggles with migraines and depression. I had to go see one of "their" psychologists and "prove" to her that I was not a drug addict. It took awhile for the judge to get back to my case, but once he did it was granted with no problems. I'm sure there are many others out there who have encountered this same issue. It sucks that one disgruntled PA could have such an impact on my future. My hope is that anyone who is reading my story might be find some of it to be helpful. On one hand it is difficult to understand why our government will not grant benefits for addicts. After all, it is a true ailment. On the other hand Social Security is under funded and things are not getting better. Yes, the DSM-IV actually has "Substance Abuse Disorder" as a bonafide ailment. It seems to go against the law when it comes to SAD. But at the same time I can't imagine how the government would be able to pay out disability benefits for addicts with no other underlying cause. If anyone wants to test what I have said here, just call one of the big firms that advertises on TV. I would not be surprised if they were declined an appointment if they have any history of addiction. Cases can be won, but it takes more time for the attorneys because right off the bat they know there's gonna be at least one hearing. Attorneys want cases that are cut and dry. Once your claim is approved they will take their share and write you a check for your share. I'm not bashing lawyers here. Who could blame them? Thank Goodness (and Nolo Press :wink:) we have the right to represent ourselves. BTW: The aforementioned content is my own personal story and in no way intended to be legal advice.
I'm living proof that you don't have to hang from a tree to be a nut.

Bamagurl22
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Re: Social Security Disability benefits for addicts?

Post by Bamagurl22 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:41 pm

Thanks for sharing your story and I hope people will not give up so quickly when told they can't get on disability due to once having an opiate problem.

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