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SSI Disability and Medical Marijuana

Discussion in 'Legal Edge' started by BWG707, Dec 15, 2012.


    BWG707 Well-Known Member

    Can SSI Disability deny your claim if you use medical marijuana in CA?

    BadDog40 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is not recognized by the federal govt. Just don't tell them.

    HTP Active Member

    Why would they need to know?

    BWG707 Well-Known Member

    I'll be seeing one of their Doctors and I'm sure it'll be on the Registration Questionnaire not to mention that they'll probably want a urine sample also. If you get caught lying that's all the excuse they need. I guess to be safe I'll stop consuming until after I'm approved. It's really a crying shame that I have to do without the relief I get from MM but that SSID check is a necessity. When will the Feds wake up and admit they are wrong.

    BWG707 Well-Known Member

    Just saw my pain Doc and she said don't worry about SSID. She said just dont bring it up and that they shouldn't be giving me any drug screens at all.

    bsemaj Member


    On March 28, 1996,(1st yr any medical cannabis act went into law for seriously ill qualifying

    patient whom are "DISABLED" and using cannabis) Congress amended Title II of the Social

    Security Act by adopting the Contract With America Advancement Act ("CAAA"), Pub.L. No.

    104-121 § 105(a)(1)

    (C). The amendment provides: "An individual shall not be considered to be disabled for purposes

    of this title if alcoholism or drug addiction would (but for this subparagraph) be a contributing

    factor material to the Commissioner's determination that the individual is disabled."

    "In determining a claimant's RFC, an ALJ must consider all relevant evidence in the record

    including, inter alia, medical records, lay evidence, and `the effects of symptoms, including pain,

    that are reasonably attributed to a medically determinable impairment.'" Robbins v. Social Security

    Admin., 466 F.3d 880, 883 (9th Cir. 2006).

    For purposes of the Social Security Act, disability is the "inability to engage in any substantial

    gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can

    be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A);

    Schaal, 134 F.3d at 501.

    Under the authority of the Social Security Act, the Social Security Administration has

    established a five-step sequential evaluation process for determing whether an individual is diabled

    (20 CFR 404.1520(a) and 416.920(a)). These steps are followed in order. If it is determined that

    the claimant is or is not disabled at a step of the evaluation process, the evaluation will not go on

    to the next step.

    If it is found that a claimant is disabled and there is medical evidence of a substance use

    disorder(s), the undersigned must determine if the substance use disorder(s)

    is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability. In making this

    determination, the undersigned must evaluate the extent to which the claimant's mental and

    physical limitations would remain if the claimant stopped the substance use. If the remaining limit-

    ations would not be disabling, the substance use disorder(s) is a contributing factor material to

    the determination of disability(20 CFR 404.1535 and 416.935). If so the claimant is not dis-


    Plaintiff has the burden of showing that drug and alcohol addiction (DAA) is not a con-

    tributing factor material to disability
    . Ball v. Massanari, 254 F.3d 817, 823 (9th Cir.2001). The

    Social Security Act bars payment of benefits when drug addiction and/or alcoholism is a

    contributing factor material to a disability claim.42 U.S.C. §§ 423 (d)(2)(C) and 1382 (a)

    (3)(J); Sousa v. Callahan,143 F.3d 1240, 1245 (9th Cir.1999). If there is evidence of DAA and the

    individual succeeds in proving disability, the Commissioner must determine whether DAA is

    material to the determination of disability. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1535 and 416.935. If an ALJ

    finds that the claimant is not disabled, then the claimant is not entitled to benefits and there

    is no need to proceed with the analysis to determine whether substance abuse is a contributing

    factor material to disability.However, if the ALJ finds that the claimant is disabled, then the ALJ

    must proceed to decide if the claimant would be disabled if he or she stopped using alcohol

    or drugs.


    Treatment Referrals for Individuals With An Alcoholism or Drug Addiction Condition

    (e) In the case of any individual whose benefits under this title are paid to a representative payee

    pursuant to section 205(j)(1)(B), the Commissioner of Social Security shall refer such individual to

    the appropriate State agency administering the State plan for substance abuse treatment services

    approved under subpart II of part B of title XIX of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C.

    300x-21et seq.).

    [236] P.L. 106-170, §101(b)(1)(B); 113 Stat.1873.

    [237] P.L. 106-170, §101(b)(1)(C); 113 Stat.1873.

    [238] The month is October 1960; the paragraph was enacted on September 13, 1960, as part of

    P.L. 86-778 [74 Stat. 968].

    [239] P.L. 93-112.

    [240] P.L. 93-112.

    So long as the cannabis use is not material to your disability..i.e. causes your disability . then they should accept it's use.

    Regardless of it being a schedule 1 drug..

    One thing you should do though.. is make sure other drugs have been tried 1st so you have a medical record showing pharma approach didn't succeed ...

    Stomper420 Active Member

    Ill tell you what happend to me. I applied, got denied. Got a lawyer. Told him about my usage. He said get a card. I did. I went to court and the judge says thats good that you have this. I was approved, no problems what so ever about MMj.. I live in the fucked up state of Cali!..Good luck with your case..Its a triing time for all.

    BWG707 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that info. I do have a card. I reside in CA. I'm using MM in combination with several other prescribed meds. My pain Doc told me if MM helps why stop. She said it shouldn't matter but try not to bring it up if you don't have too. In no way shape or form does MM have anything to do with causing or prolonging my disabilities. I've had two failed back surgeries, left leg and foot have been numb for yrs., severe muscle atrophy in left leg, herniated disc, pinched sciaitic nerve with permanent nerve damage. From L5 to S1 my vertabrae are bone on bone. In pain every min. of everyday. Been seeing 4 different Doctors now waiting to see the SSID docs. I'm just don't want to give them any reason to deny my claim but would rather not give up the relief I get from MM. Thanks again everybody.

    Stomper420 Active Member

    I hear yea. I have alot of the same problems. I cant even water my girls half the time cause Im in so much pain. I try not to take the meds but sometimes I cant deal with it. Then I get hooked and cant stop for weeks on end. Its a roller coaster of a ride thats for sure. Good luck with your case.

    Do you need a lawyer? Cause I have one of the best in the bis!

    gioua Well-Known Member

    I was on rx meds as well.. I was told that since I was using MMJ and my RX they said one or the other since the RX are guided by the Feds and MMJ is not recognized federally..
    I researched it and few if any dr's prescribing narcotics will allow you to use MMJ as well... I went from using about 5 rx's a day started to use MMJ went to 2 rx's then finally 1 this was the point where I was drug tested (chronic pain dr does random tests) and told one or the other.. he gave me 3 mo's to stop using MMJ I took those 3 months and tapered off the RX's told him I no longer needed him...

    22 years of that fixed with MMJ use.

    I went thru the SDI process they did nothing.. more then a mental test+ physical test
    curious2garden likes this.

    jjfw Well-Known Member

    just a opinon,I thought medical marijuana wasn't a prescription,that your doctor only recommends that marijuana can help, then you apply for a card. I know I'm on ssdi and never was asked on paper if I took or used marijuana. Also never spoke to any ssdi people or their doctors, had a lawyer. But none of the paper work mentioned any marijuana use. I wouldn't even bring it up with card or no card.

    BWG707 Well-Known Member

    I noticed that on the app. Were the lawyer fees reasonable?

    jjfw Well-Known Member

    Lawyer for ssdi? Basically, free, But, medical documentation is needed, if you win, 25% of back pay they take. Listen, ssdi doesn't care if you have a bad back, 1 leg, psyco, the main thing is, has does this diability affect you when you walk, work etc. AFFECT, friend was turned down because they asked, do you take care of anyone? yes my son, was denied, because if you can do that, you can take care of yourself. Do you drive? yes, but only within 10-15 mile area, because of medication and sitting causes pain. Must be careful, also always give reasons for yes answers, always. I had mri's, xrays and same doctor and 2 specialist. Lawyer is not necessary, have a friend going to their psyco. doctor, he has no doctor, depression and more head problems. Check out web site, SSDfacts.com, helpful people there, they answer and are up to date, very good site. But like I said, all forms i did, never any marijuana use questions, and paper work is all the same, all states. But you never know. Again go to that site, people very helpful, Good Luck.

    BWG707 Well-Known Member

    Great info, I appreciate that. My disability keeps me from standing for more than 15-20min., even sitting I'm in pain and can not get comfortable, I walk with a limp, always on narcotics, lifting is out of the question, etc. I guess it's just a matter of answering their questions the way they want. I read that 70% of all 1st applicants are denied and 80% of 1st appeals are denied. they try to wear you down. I heard that if denied it's not umcommon to have to appeal up to 4 times. Anyway thanks everybody.

    jjfw Well-Known Member

    That forum has the forms you would be filling out, residual functional capacity evaluation form, is the start, very important form, judges will look at this years later,use against you. Sit down with your doctor, discuss situation with him. Again, it how your injuries and disabilities affect you, pain, tire easily, cause breathing problems, limit sitting and walking sleeping etc. My case from start may 2012 to awarded july 2012, 45 days. again, do your homework, like my doctor said, you don't have to be cripple or blind. That site is a start for good info. Most lawyers give free 1st visit and should tell you what you need and if you have a case, my even suggested for me to try on my own at first and if denied to come back.Also if awarded back pay, social security will take attorney fee out, he doesn't touch the check, there are different situations, but usually 25%,if you win,nothing if you lose. Good luck.

    Stomper420 Active Member

    If you are in the NorCal area and need a great lawyer hit me up and Ill get you a number. He is very honest and acring. He will walk you thru the whole process. Its a nightmare and having a knowlable lawyer is a big bonus. Anyhow, good luck and be good!
    CBD Cannaboss

    CBD Cannaboss New Member

    I have Schizoaffective Bipolar 2, PTSD. I contacted the Disability Help Center in Englewood Cliff NJ. I told them that I used medical cannabis when they asked what medications I take. I told her that I stopped using Wellbutrin and Rispiridone because of suicidal thoughts and a couple of other side effects. I told her that the cannabis was alot better and made me feel like I got my life back. They told me that because the cannabis is working for me they would not help me. If I was still taking the Rispiridone and other medications and they didn't work for me then they would help but because "it worked for you" they refused to help me. I am not cured of Schizoaffective Bipolar just because I take cannabis for PTSD. Now they will not even help me because of MMJ.

    kinddiesel Well-Known Member

    you will lose your ssi benefits if the government finds out you have a medical card. how I know this. I might be a care taker its my job to know all the laws and if its safe for patients. I suggest not getting that card. you will lose your ssi for sure. you can google ssi and medical cards and read news articles . there has ben cases where people lost there homes and all benefits. do what ever you want . but be smart don't lose your income .
    vro likes this.
    Jus Naturale

    Jus Naturale Active Member

    Sounds like these folks needed (better) lawyers. I know many, many cardholders that have never had issues with their federal benefits.


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