Step 3: Impairment Claim Disability Law Is All We Do

Do You Have A Listed Impairment?

Step 3: Tulsa Disability Claim Attorneys Discuss Qualifying For Tulsa Social Security Benefits

At this step of the sequential disability evaluation, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must determine if your impairments meet or equal an impairment in the “listings”. This term describes an official list of very severe impairments in the regulations. It would not be practical to describe all of the listed impairments within this website. Instead, our disability attorneys provide a basic overview as to the nature of these impairments. We then explain the manner in which the SSA evaluates these disability claims.

Listing of Impairments for Disability Benefits

The listings of impairments to determine Social Security eligibility include numerous impairments, both physical and mental. The official listing is different for adults and for children. The most common impairments relate to the following:

  • Musculoskeletal systems
  • Senses and speech
  • Respiratory systems
  • Cardiovascular systems
  • Digestive systems
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Immune system disorders

The listing includes impairments that are of such severity that the impairment would render a person unable to work, regardless of that person’s age, work experience or educational background. As an example, the amputation of both feet would meet a listed impairment. Similarly, amputation of both hands or one hand and one foot would meet a listing.

Can I Qualify for Social Security Based on Impairment Severity?

If a person’s impairments meet or equal a listing, which means it is similar to the severity of a listed impairment, then the SSA would find that person disabled at step three. The sequential disability evaluation then stops. If the impairment is not listed but is similar to one that is, or you have several impairments that alone do not qualify as severe but together are, then your disability claim may still receive consideration as being equal to a listing. However, if the claimant does not meet or equal a listing, then the sequential evaluation proceeds to step four of the disability determination.

Is Drug or Alcohol Abuse a Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not award disability benefits solely for drug or alcohol addictions. However, an individual may be entitled to disability benefits for a medical condition brought on by drug or alcohol abuse. A disability claim for someone with a condition caused by drugs or alcohol will only be successful if the continued use of drugs or alcohol is not contributing to the disability.

Whether or not you will qualify for Social Security benefits if you have a drug or alcohol problem depends on the particular circumstances of your case. At Troutman & Troutman, P.C., disability law is all we do. Our lawyers represent each client to the best of our abilities, regardless of a client’s past or current substance abuse.

If drug addiction or alcoholism has left you with a disabling medical condition, contact us. We invite you to talk with one of our experienced attorneys during a free evaluation of your case.

Can Using Drugs or Alcohol Affect My Disability Claim?

When you apply for disability, the SSA will determine whether substance abuse is a material contributing factor to your disability. Material means the substance abuse is contributing to, or worsening, your medical condition. The SSA will also consider whether you would qualify for insurance benefits if you did not abuse alcohol or drugs. If they find that without using you still do not qualify, then the SSA will deny benefits.

For example, let’s say you have a drug addiction and suffer from seizures. The SSA determines the frequency of seizures would continue even if you stopped using drugs. In that case, you may receive disability benefits. On the other hand, if the SSA determines your seizure condition would medically improve if you stopped using drugs, then the SSA will likely consider your drug addiction material to your disability and deny benefits.

One of the steps in approving Disability Insurance is the SSA reviewing your medical records. If at one point your doctor noted a suspected substance abuse problem, then the SSA may use this as reason to deny your disability claim. Proving that drug addiction or alcoholism is immaterial, or does not contribute to a disability claim, can be difficult. Have a qualified lawyer review your medical records and guide you through the entire disability claim process.

Am I Eligible for Benefits If I Still Use Drugs & Alcohol?

If you have a current, ongoing substance abuse problem, the Social Security Administration will likely issue your SSD payments to a representative payee. Your representative payee may be a friend, a family member, or a qualified organization. The representative payee will then be responsible for managing your checks. This ensures you do not spend the funds on drugs or alcohol.

Can I Collect Disability if I Am Addicted to Alcohol?

If you have a friend or family member who is addicted to alcohol and suffering from health problems as a result and can no longer work, it may be a good idea to talk to them about potentially seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If they have serious illnesses like cancer or their medical conditions are expected to worsen over time, they may be eligible for benefits.

The Social Security Administration will gauge if an applicant’s health is expected to improve if they are able to give up alcohol. Unfortunately, for some people, even if they enter recovery, their health woes continue, leaving them unable to work. In these cases, the SSA could consider a victim disabled and grant them benefits.

Our firm is dedicated to helping people who cannot work obtain benefits, regardless of how their health conditions were acquired. By working with an attorney, a person may be able improve their chances of receiving benefits.

Ask a Tulsa SSI Attorney about Your Disability Claim

It is important for claimants to recognize the fact that you must follow the sequential evaluation in order. This means that, even if a person meets a listing but is working in a job considered substantial gainful activity, the SSA would not find the person disabled at step one. Then, the disability evaluation would not get to step three.

If you need assistance determining if you have a severe impairment included in the disability listings, then call our disability attorneys today for a free evaluation. Someone at our office can answer questions you have about your Social Security eligibility.

Why Choose Troutman & Troutman?

  • Committed to Keeping You Informed

    We understand that this can be a stressful and confusing time which, is why we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to keep you informed and knowledgeable about your case. Not only do we have an array of video and FAQs, but we also allow you direct access to your dedicated attorney.

  • Dedicated & Trusted Counsel

    Our attorneys are passionate about disability law. Everyone who works at our firm is here because they believe in helping people. We commit to representing clients through every part of the Social Security Disability claims process.

  • Over 25 Years of Dedicated Experience

    Since 1993, our attorneys have been helping people throughout Oklahoma get the Social Security benefits they deserve. Regardless of where you are in your case, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys are here to help you obtain what you deserve.

  • Disability Law Is All We Do

    Social Security Disability is a unique area of the law because it is about representing clients going through very difficult times. We help by getting people the benefits they have earned and deserve. Our firm is proud of the fact that disability law is all we do.

    I didn't think there was a caring professional considerate attorney firm on the planet, but Troutman & Troutman proved me wrong. From the receptionist to the legal assistance to the attorney and more they were exceptional people.

    - Robert S.

    They did a fantastic job getting everything gathered up and getting the trial done as quickly as possible. Anytime I had a question they were patient and help me understand what was going on. Especially Christy and Charlie were great.

    - Michael M.

    Steve Troutman was able to get my short-term and long-term disability for me. Then Erin another lawyer for their firm got my Social security disability for me. Great people.

    - Billy S.

    Mr. Troutman walked me through the entire process. Heather was available each time I called, answered all my crazy questions, and helped me fill out forms along the way. I was never treated like I was wasting time.

    - Julia C.

    Erin and Keith were fabulous! They were compassionate, helpful, and very responsive! They made the process very smooth and painless every step of the way.

    - Valerie W.

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