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Can the Use of Marijuana Negatively Impact Your Disability Claim?

As more and more states legalize the use of marijuana – medically and/or recreationally – it continues to be one of the most widely used drugs in the world. In fact, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, almost 20 million people have used marijuana over the last month alone. This is because of the many benefits that have been claimed from taking it. However, regardless of the reason for its use, it’s important to understand how the use of marijuana can impact your social security disability claim in a negative manner. 

Even though marijuana is now legal in many states, it is still illegal under federal law. Therefore, since the Social Security Administration is a federal agency, using marijuana may greatly impact your social security disability claim for the worse. Unfortunately, even just using medical marijuana can cause an administrative law judge to question your disability claim or to deny it altogether. 

The Social Security Administration Investigates the Impact

During the process of your application, the Social Security Administration will look into your claim. If it finds that you have used marijuana – regardless of the reason – investigators will do their best to determine if it has impacted you in any one of the following three ways:

  1. Whether it contributed to your disability;
  2. Whether stopping your use of marijuana would change the fact that your disabling condition prevents you from working; or
  3. Whether your symptoms are at all caused by your use of marijuana.

Medical Marijuana and Psychiatric Disability Issues

Unfortunately, much is still not understood about marijuana and it is often viewed negatively. If your social security disability claim is related to a psychiatric issue such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, using marijuana may cause your claim to be in jeopardy. The Social Security Administration may call in medical experts or other professionals to testify as to how marijuana can make your psychiatric symptoms worse. 

However, if your marijuana use has been approved and you are legally taking it for medical purposes (i.e. it is medical marijuana), you may be able to successfully contradict any negative testimony that was provided. For these reasons, it’s in your best interest to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Disability attorney prior to filing a disability claim with the Social Security Administration. This holds especially true if you currently use marijuana.

The Las Vegas SSD Attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC Can Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know how to proceed. Fortunately, the attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your physical, emotional, and financial health. That’s why it’s our mission to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!