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Denied For Drug Addicition And Alcoholism



I am 50% SC by the VA for PTSD and I applied for SSDI and was denied back on Jube 22, 2011. The reason they said I am not eligible is because:

" We have determined that your condition is not severe enough to keep you from working. We have reviewed the facts in your case a decided that substance abuse is a contributing factor material to a finding of disability. This means you would not be disabled if you stopped using drugs and alcohol".

It has been over 6 months and I am ready to appeal if I can, is it to late? How do i go about proving that I'm not an addict like they are saying. I do drink beer and occasionally smoke marijuana. Do I need a report from my shrink saying I cant work because of the syptoms of PTSD? I have always been honest with my shrink about what I do and i guess now its coming back to bite me in the but, How can i get benefits from VA for one thing and be denied by Social Security for the same claim?

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I am 50% SC by the VA for PTSD and I applied for SSDI and was denied back on Jube 22, 2011.

How can i get benefits from VA for one thing and be denied by Social Security for the same claim?

VBA and SSA are completely different.

VBA relates to conditions resultant from active duty or secondary to a SC'd primary condition.

VBA compensation is adjudicated by percentages.

SSA relates to all medical conditions - irregardless of military service.

SSA compensates for TOTAL disability - they don't go by percentage levels,

with SSA - it's all - or nothing.


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In order to appeal a Social Security decision, you have to appeal it within a 60 day time frame. That being said, there is a four year window in which a case can be re-opened with good cause. The definition of good cause is pretty arbituary, depending on who looks at it.

Social Security is NOT like the VA, and they have two different definitions of disability. With Social Security, you have to be 100% disabled and unable to work at all. Veterans Affairs has awarded you a 50% service-connected determination, meaning that your PTSD affects your ability to work or even what levels of employment you may reach. However, your documented use of substances really throws a wrench into any attempt at differentiating how much of your disability is due to PTSD and how much is due to substance abuse (their words, not mine). From quick research on the Internet, using illegal substances (marijuana) is not condusive to getting a favorable approval from Social Security.

From your own post, you drink beer and occaisionally smoke marijuana. In my opinion, you would have to have a period of 'clean and sober' time, where the effects of your PTSD alone can be ascertained, before Social Security would award any benefits.

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If you are going to beat the VA you need to stop drinking and smoking dope. This may relax you but it kills your VA claims. I know because I had a horrible drug abuse record in my SMR's. Self medicating is suicide to VA claims. I think it hurt my original claim even though there was plenty to justify 100% rating. I got just 10% because the VA shrink that examined me was a real straight arrow and wrote me off as a degenerate hippie drug abuser even though I spent a year in Vietnam. I really was self medicating but the VA may admit this is a symptom they still hold it against you. Many of the C&P doctors and raters have a fixed opinion of vets who use even a little illegal drugs. They think we are all alcoholics and dope addicts.

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