The Social Security Administration issued a new Ruling which will affect the case of every Social Security Claimant who has a substance abuse history. The Ruling gives a step by step analysis to determine whether a claimant is disabled if the Claimant has struggled with addiction. The Ruling also states that “A claimant’s occasional maladaptive use or a history of occasional prior maladaptive use of alcohol or illegal drugs does not establish that the claimant has a medically determinable” addiction.
If you represent Social Security Claimants, you have to read this Ruling, known as SSR 13-2p.
If you are a Claimant with any history of drug or alcohol usage, then you need to hire an attorney to represent you who knows this new Ruling. It can be the difference between winning and losing your case. This Ruling is long and is confusing enough that a Claimant will need an attorney representing him/her who has the experience to address the issues raised by Social Security in this Publication. Remember that an attorney will not charge you a fee unless you win (in most cases) so it is crazy to try to figure this out yourself. There is much truth to the old saying that “A person who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer.” (Being foolish is not a basis for disability.)
Here is the link to the Social Security Ruling for your review- http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-20/pdf/2013-03751.pdf
The effective date of this new SSR is March 22, 2013, but it will affect Claimants whose cases are presently being evaluated.
Read it now!