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Old 04-17-2009, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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alcoholism and disability

Can anyone give me some information on my applying for disability due to alcoholism and addiction?
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you are talking about Social Security Disability, they really do not give disability for Alcoholism and Addiction.

However, they do grant disability for certain Mental Health Issues, and the RESULTS, the DAMAGE that alcohol and drugs have caused to the body.

Yes I am an alcoholic. However, I was 19 years sober when I started dealing with SS for some major health issues, many of them a direct result of the 24 years (22 of it aloholically) that I drank and used drugs.

Years ago SS did put practicing alkies on Disability. They got a check every month, usually sent to someone who was their "guardian". In many cases that 'guardian' just doled the money out weekly and the alkie continued to live on the streets. That policy was discontinued back in the early '90's I believe.

You go to the nearest Social Security office. There are 2 initial forms that have to be filled out with everything yu can think of. One form is for SSI (those who do not have enough work credits) and the other is for SSDI (those that do have enough work credits). They do their investigation first for the SSI, they will ask for Medical Release Forms to be signed so they can get all medical information. If the disability is approved, first they approve the SSI and then they continue the investigation until you are approved for or disapproved for SSDI.

It took me 2 years and 7 months just to get the SSI and then another 13 months before the SSDI kicked in, and that included several denials and appeals. It is not a magic bullet and does take quite a while. It is a LONG DRAWN out process.

Good luck.

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Old 04-17-2009, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No I can not but perhaps other members will know.
However...
I would suggest a consultation with a lawyer
who deals with disability claims is wise.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I do know of a way to un-disable yourself, if that helps.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was just granted Social Security Disability for Medical Conditions . . . as a matter of fact, I just got the official letter today. Throughout the process, I had spoken with people from Social Security numerous times. During one of the conversations, I asked the Representative if they grant Disability for addicts/alcoholics anymore. She said absolutely not! Like laurie said, you can get it for mental health issues, but it's not as easy as people want it to be.

You have to have a long history of serious, mental health conditions that you have been in treatment for during this time. Not only do they need all records from the doctors/psychiatrists/psychologists you have seen, you will be sent to a Dr. that the state chooses who will evaluate you.

In today's Society, unless someone has a serious, chronic medical condition, it is nearly impossible to get on Disability. I know several people who got on Disability years ago for drug/alcohol addiction. Not one of these people have been able to build up any significant amt of clean time. They admit that once the government said,"Ok, you can't work because you're an addict," they got the mindset that they couldn't work, couldn't stop using . . . they felt like they were branded as a hopeless drunk or dope fiend.

I used for 32 years and I don't believe anyone should be on Disability for these reasons alone. Once I had a few months in Recovery, getting a job was one of the best things I ever did for my Recovery. I learned responsibility, self respect, my self esteem grew, I felt like a worthwhile member of society, I was extremely proud to be earning my own money rather than someone giving it to me.

I think by telling yourself that you can't work due to alcohol or drug addiction is just a cop out. I'm sorry, it's my opinion. I put myself through hell for 25 of those 32 years that I used. I was able to work when I got into Recovery. . . .just like millions and millions of other people.

Your first job(s) after getting clean and sober doesn't have to be anything with serious responsibilites, it doesn't have to be full time. Many people's first job is a get well job. Just something to reintroduce them back into the work force.I hate to see anyone tell themselves that they can't do something just because they are an addict/alcoholic. Once I got in Recovery, the sky's the limit! The only reason I am not working now is due to chronic medical disabilities. I hated to have to stop working. For the first time in my life, I looked forward to getting up and going to work each day. Once that demon of active addiction was silenced, my entire world changed.

Yours can too.

God Bless,
Judy
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think someone who desires disability because of alcoholism and/or addiction has a mental illness.

Keep coming back.
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I went on FMLA for the month or so I was in rehab. But I think you have to be working at the time for that to happen. It's the same thing women get when they are out on maternity leave, I believe.

My beautiful baby is now 18 months old!

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Old 04-18-2009, 09:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Here's the deal: I am diabetic without any health insurance and I am 4 days shy of going into an inpatient rehab. When I get out I will need health insurance and in order to get that I would either have to be on disability or work full time. I know that when I get out of rehab i will not be able to work full time due to the after effects of my drinking in using; I have mental health issues. Its not that I don't want to work - its that I can't work enough to support myself and my diabetic needs. I don't know. I know there is some resources out there that will help with my getting insulin and diabetic supplies its just going to take time to get them started. Time I don't think I have.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bluberry View Post
I know there is some resources out there that will help with my getting insulin and diabetic supplies its just going to take time to get them started. Time I don't think I have.
Disability can take years to get. I'm almost 18 months into the process. Social services now offers temporary assistance in the interim, but my medical card is very limited, and even that has to be approved, which took 30 days for mine (it can take up to 90 days for approval on medical).
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Getting on Disability is not the answer, Blueberry. If you would truly qualify for Disability, it takes a long, long time to get it. Most people, it takes a few years in all honesty. I wasn't the norm getting mine as fast as I did, but then I have a great deal of chronic, medical illnesses that are getting worse with each day. All of this is documented by my Dr.'s office from monthly visits, blood work every 6 weeks, x-rays, MRI's, . . .It would be extremely difficult for someone your age to get Disability unless you had some very serious issues. Be careful though if you would try to use mental health issues as a reason for disability, custody of your child could be questioned. I'm not saying it would be, it very well could.

I went down to apply for a medical card some time ago and I was told that I couldn't get one because I didn't have any minor children living at home nor was I disabled. Do you have custody of your baby? That alone should guarantee you medical coverage for you and your child. Also, if you go to a regular doctor for your insulin, they will definately have resources available for you to get your diabetic supplies. There are several of my meds that are very expensive, like insulin, and I get them through the drug companies. Ask your Doctor. . . nearly every office can get you help.

I understand when you get out of treatment that jumping right in to a full time job could be overwhelming. But there are other ways to get help without going on Disability. Like I said, the chances of you getting on it are slim to none so please, look into other areas. There is help out there, you just have to do some leg work and make a hell of a lot of phone calls. It's like everything else in life, if you want it, you will find a way. I did.

PM if you would like some more info on getting help. I have been where you are, believe me. I have to take 13 different kinds of medications each day. One of the meds I have to take I give myself by injection twice a month. It is $1,850 an injection. There is no way I could have gotten that, but the drug company furnishes to me for free, they even have it delivered to my home. With a child, being Diabetic and low/no income, you should not have any trouble at all.

God Bless and while inpatient, fight for your life Honey, cause that's what you are doing.

Judy
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It sounds like much more effort than my job requires. Just sayin'...
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, my first question would be why do you think you need SSDI - because you have an addiction? IMO, to go down that road marks the end of a productive life. Now, if a person really NEEDS said help I don't feel this way. But I am talking more about someone with a serious mental illness who just happens to use or with a serious medical issue that precludes them from working. People who really truly cannot make progress if they just try.

The idea is to fight our demons and not give up or give in. I know someone in the system who told me I should/could apply for disability due to my history. Well, given my mental health issues, maybe I could. Heaven knows it's been documented by my shrink and countless therapists. However, where will that get me? It'll get me an income but it will also get me to a place where I don't feel I have to keep trying. Not an option for me.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi I am Jd Alcoholic and on disability...

There are several things to consider like work history
Did you work enough that this will even be beneficial to you.
Will someone support you for almost 4 years and another 3 years to get it right and be stable income wise are you sure will not fall off the wagon
and commit any felonies ....underneath the new system because social security laws change daily almost I dont think you can collect disability if you have a felony

The other thing is you may not even qualify for it and wasted time

it took 10 years for them to even get everything straightened out.

I wish that I could go back to work unfortunately at this time I cannot
because by the time I can retire my retirement will almost be nothing if there is such a thing by then

The one thing this program has helped me get back is my conscience---
guess what I cant even lie to the Govt no matter how much I disagree with their ways at times and the thing of it is like most aides here in america not perfect but they help ...they are designed to keep you in it unless you get a winfall...Landlords dont want to hear about that its a few more months away from the hearing they will give eviction notices no matter how good of a tenant in past. As far as diabetic medication there are resources I just dont know where to tell you to go

yeah and judges dont accept alcoholism as a disease much they look at it as a behavior and possibly Arrests/convictions

A bunch in our southern states won disability years ago on alcoholism and drug addiction and I think by the 90's they were taken off of it and to go get A J-O-B and pay rent and utilities too! Besides groceries and any extras

Disability is not a way to support yourself (imo)
These are some facts you may want to look at

Didnt mean to rain on the parade :-)
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I know there is some resources out there that will help with my getting insulin and diabetic supplies its just going to take time to get them started. Time I don't think I have.
Okay, first of all, with no health insurance, go to Catholic Charities, they have offices all over Illinois. It is an initial fee of $15.00. They will get all your diabetic needs, after your Doctor signs their paperwork covered for 6 months. At about 5 months into getting your diabetic needs, go back to Catholic Charities, pay another $15 and do it again. I know this works, have a 1/2 sister in Illinois who had to use them, for quite a while. Their 'turn around time' is about 2 weeks or so depending on how quick your Dr gets his portion of the forms filled out and back to them.

Eventually, years down the road, your Diabetes as it progresses will make you eligible for SSI. Get your meds set up. Get into rehab and get some tools. After rehab I would suggest a Sober Living House, again you will have to do some research, and if that is your young one in your avatar, yes there are Sober Living Houses that do allow mothers to have their children with them.

SLH's are great ways to start to 'learn' how to LIVE sober and slowly re-enter 'the world' and become a responsible working citizen. You have a roof over your head, usually pretty nice accomodations. You get a job, really one of any kind, won't be your dream job, but will start you learning once again how to be responsible, show up on time for work, pay your bills, etc. Also, while in the SLH I believe you can get "Medicaid" for your child and you for your diabetes and other medical issues, based on low and/or no income.

Keeping your diabetes medications coming if foremost. Rehab next, and then take it from there.

As a side note ............................. Illinois is one of the HARDEST STATES to get disability. That same 1/2 sister, 2 years younger than I, applied long before I did, based on her Diabetes and Congestive Heart Failure and it took her 2 years longer than I to get her disability.

There are ways for you to go to get what you need and it isn't Social Security. SS is NOT the easier, softer, way.

Hope the above helps.

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I definitely agree with everything that has been said. I am in the process of applying for Social Security Disability because of many degenerative health concerns. They have expedited my case because of the nature of my health problems and it will still take about 6 months for a decision.

SSD eligibility is also based on work credits as well as disability. Have you worked and paid into the system enough to qualify?

I know you feel panicked going into rehab but I think once you are looking at things from a sober frame of mind things will seem clearer. Hopefully, the rehab will be able to sign you up for programs through your state and through the drug companies to help pay for your medication. My sister is a recovering Meth Addict and for about a year she received state health care that paid for her Medical Care and Medication. I know this varies from state to state.

There are also other programs to look into. A lot of states have programs that include child care and living expenses while you go to school for a job that is deemed in critical need of people, such as CNAs.

For me personally, the decision to apply for SSD was a very hard one because it was in effect putting a period at the end of my career which is absolutely not something I wanted to do. I would trade anything for good health and the ability to work. It took a lot of time and counseling for me to accept that I would have to live life with limitations and I would not have the type of career I always thought I would have.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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thank you sara, yes I do feel panicked. I don't think that is something a lot of the people posting realize. I have gotten the impression that people feel I do not want to work, that i'm just looking for a free ride. when really, i am looking for a solution to my insurance problem. I kind of feel insulted really. I have found, however, through these posts and just time thinking about it that disability is not what i am seeking. by the way, i have contacted catholic charities and they offer no support on diabetes supplies (such as blood test strips, syrenges) but i have found a clinic that offers help, it just takes 6 weeks to become effective. so what do i do for those 6 weeks? How will i give my insulin without syrenges? I'm sure that i will find some way. if i found some way to use while i was broke i'm sure i can find a way to get medical supplies without any money. I just dont want to have to steal or pan handle to have to do this. Well, I just want to say thank you to the people that were helpful in their posts, rather than being insensitive like a lot of people were about my inquiry.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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oh yes, to reply to a couple people, no i do not have custody of my child.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Do you have a main treating physician for your diabetes? Most physicians receive free samples and if you let them know you need help they will give you a months worth.

This site has some links to government aide that is available for Diabetes Patients:

Financial Help for Diabetes Care

I searched using diabetes help paying for insulin and a lot of information and message boards with people asking similar questions and getting responses on what they did to get free or reasonably priced supplies.

Your rehab should cover this as it is integral in learning to live a sober lifestyle so I would maybe take this one day at a time and make sure that your treatment facility knows that you need assistance in getting coverage. How long is your program?
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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"How will i give my insulin without syrenges?"

That statement is leaps and bounds different than your initial post. I am very glad to see you are moving away from:

"Can anyone give me some information on my applying for disability due to alcoholism and addiction?"

Best wishes toward all of your recovery issues.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Hello, Bluberry.

Call some hospitals and see if they do discounts/sliding scale or charity. You have to ask for it--most places don't advertise.
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