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Is Substance Abuse A Va Disability

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Va Disability Compensation Rates

VA Compensation for Alcoholism & Drug Abuse | PTSD Lawyers

Your disability rating will determine how much money you get from the VA each month. For instance, if you have a 10 percent rating, youll get $152.64 each month. If you have a 20 percent rating, youll get $301.74 tax-free every month.

For ratings over 30 percent, the VA also considers whether you have people depending on you financially when deciding on your compensation rate. For instance, if you have a 50 percent rating and no dependents, youll receive $958.44 each month. But if you have a 50 percent rating and a spouse and a child depending on you financially, youll get $1,043.43 tax-free every month.

Here is a video explaining how the VA combined ratings table works from one of our Veterans Disability Lawyers.

Can Veterans Be Service Connected For Drug Abuse

As of right now, veterans cannot be directly service-connected for substance abuse disorder. However, they can be service-connected on a secondary basis for disabilities that arise from drug use due to a service-connected condition.

Veterans can receive ratings for substance-related disabilities as long as the substance use was not the veterans own willful misconduct. VA defines willful misconduct as an act involving conscious wrongdoing or known prohibited action.

For example, if a veteran has a service-connected back injury that causes great pain on a daily basis, they may be prescribed opiates for the pain. If the veteran goes on to develop renal disease because of their prolonged use of opiates, the veteran may then be able to receive disability compensation for the renal disease as secondary to their initial back injury.

Complications For Veterans With Adhd

Although veterans with ADHD may not have significant physical complications, it can have severe complications in your life. For one thing, you may have a hard time performing well at your job. You might even find it hard to keep a job for more than a few months or years.

Bouncing around jobs can lead to financial challenges or even trouble with the law. People with ADHD might be at higher risk of substance abuse disorders, as well as car accidents. You might have trouble staying in good physical health, your relationships may be unstable, and you may begin to struggle with poor self-esteem.

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Contact Us For Help Now

Substance abuse can permeate a veterans life, affecting their family, social life, and most importantly, their health. If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder or addiction, you deserve help. Seeking treatment is the first step to healing.

Some veterans struggling with substance issues may be suffering from a service-connected disability and may be eligible for disability benefits. Although service-members cannot receive service-connected benefits for willful misconduct or the results of such misconduct in service, if substance abuse is the result of another service-connected condition, then you may be entitled to increased benefits.?

Vets National Advocates is here to help you on your journey to recovery by providing resources and helping with your disability claims.

You can break the cycle and you dont have to do it alone. Helping Veterans, Its What We Do.

Can I Get A Service Connection For Drug Or Alcohol Abuse

Veterans and Addiction

Its a common misconception that Veterans cant receive VA disability benefits for drug or alcohol abuse. While substance abuse cant receive a direct service connection, addiction can be a secondary service-connected disability that is eligible for benefits. However, earning recognition of this disability from the VA can be a challenge.

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Va Ratings Ptsd And Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

Trauma can do a great deal of damage to us as individuals. And our bodys responses to trauma, like the development of PTSD and addiction, can also be rather challenging to live with. But just because addiction and PTSD are hard to deal with and are life-threatening sometimes, it does not make them impossible to treat.

Of course, it can be challenging to admit you need help with PTSD or addiction. And it can only get more complicated for you to start treatment if you feel you are making a financial burden for yourself or your family. Luckily insurance companies work diligently to provide their clients with access to traditional rehab services. And drug and alcohol treatment centers like our very own St. Johns Recovery Place do their best to make their services as affordable as possible. But if you or a loved one once served in the United States military, protecting our country, and have developed PTSD, an AUD, a co-occuring disorder, or injury, as a result, you should know that there are even more assistance programs and opportunities available to you!

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs supports a VA disability rating, devised to help get the needed funds to each veteran struggling. The rating works by giving each condition you struggle with a percentage on a severity rating scale from 0-100%. The higher you are on the scale, the more financial assistance you may claim for your treatment services.

Other Ways You Can Lose Va Disability Benefits

A veteran can lose VA disability benefits if the VA severs a service-related connection to the disability. The VA can sever a service-related connection in either of the following situations:9

  • There is a finding of fraud.
  • The VA made an error in the initial decision to grant a service connection to the disability.

Other than severing disability benefits, the VA can also decrease the amount of disability compensation the person receives. This could be due to either of the following circumstances:

  • They receive military retirement pay, disability severance pay, or separation pay.
  • They are incarcerated in a federal, state, or local facility for more than 60 days because theyre convicted of a felony.

Although the VA makes the final decision about ceasing benefits, it is important for veterans to realize that they do have rights. First, they must receive advance notice that the VA is proposing to sever a service connection. Second, they must be given a chance to argue against the proposal to sever the service connection.

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Myth #: Substance Abuse And Disability

You are about to enter a land beyond what many of us know. A land that could almost be considered a different dimension. A dimension of medical records, vocational classifications, administrative law judges, and functional limitations. Strap yourself in and get ready as we enter the twilight zone of Social Security Disability benefits.

Aggravated Service Connection For Insomnia

VA Help for Substance Abuse

You are also eligible to file a disability claim for insomnia if you already had it before you joined the military. To qualify for this type of claim, you will need to prove that the condition was aggravated, or made worse, by your time in military service. The VA regards the inability to sleep worsening after enrollment in active duty as service connection by aggravation.

This must be differentiated from the natural progress of a condition. If you are injured playing sports before joining the military and your doctor specifies that your injury will naturally worsen over time, the aggravation may not be caused by the service but by the general passage of time. One way to figure out whether or not insomnia is aggravated by service or service-connected in the first place is through a VA-ordered C& P exam.

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Does Substance Abuse = Disability

Our fourth myth to explore is substance abuses impact on Social Security Disability benefits. Oftentimes I hear people say that they know someone who has been awarded disability benefits because they are an alcoholic, because they cant keep a job due to drug use, or some other version of this statement. Like many of the myths we have discussed so far, this is simply not true. The Social Security Administration does not and cannot find someone disabled due solely to drug or alcohol dependency or addiction. Thus, if the only basis for a claim is addiction issues, the claim will be denied as a matter of law by Social Security.

However, this has not always been the case. Until 1996, substance abuse was treated as a listing criteria and was enough for an individual to be granted disability benefits. You see, in 1994, laws began to change and more and more restrictions were placed on substance abuse claims. These new rules only allowed for three years of benefits for substance abuse disabilities and also listed strict requirements for treatments in order for recipients to qualify and continue to receive disability benefits. Then in 1995, we experienced another change in the law. This time the law excluded any benefits to be paid for claims that only dealt with substance abuse issues. While many other changes and tweaks have occurred relating to substance abuse in disability claims, the 1995 law continues to basically be the case today.

Why The Va Doesnt Cover Adhd

As you may have noticed, ADHD is a condition that develops in childhood, even if it isnt diagnosed until adulthood. This means that its impossible to get a service connection and medical nexus for ADHD to qualify for VA disability compensation. So why are we telling you about ADHD if you cant get compensated for it?

You may be able to get VA disability compensation for conditions related to your ADHD. While this wont be a direct compensation, you can still get payments for some of your resulting symptoms, including if you have ADHD secondary to PTSD by VA standards. Youll need to talk to your doctor about getting diagnoses for these additional conditions in order to get VA disability.

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Criteria For Consideration Of Entitlement Of A Substance

Not all substances within a category are considered for entitlement by Veterans Affairs Canada .

Substances considered for entitlement must meet the criteria established by VAC.

Substances considered for entitlement by VAC are limited to:

  • Medications available under Canadian law for which a Drug Identification Number was issued by Health Canada, was legally prescribed under Canadian law and authorized by a qualified health professional for the purposes of treatment of the clients medical or dental condition
  • Non-prescription medications available under Canadian law for which a DIN was issued by Health Canada.
  • The substance must be identified in the application for Substance Use Disorder.

    Each substance is considered on an individual basis in accordance with the criteria forsubstances considered for entitlement by VAC.

    The substance accepted by VAC is/are identified in the entitlement decision as a substance category.

    The substance category is not all inclusive. The substance included in the entitledsubstance category are limited to the substance which meet the criteria forentitlement by VAC.

    For example:An application is submitted for Substance Use Disorder. The substance identified is Oxycodone. The condition is accepted by VAC and entitled as Substance Use Disorder .

    Examples of other substances which could meet the criteria for inclusion in the entitlement of Substance Use Disorder are Codeine and Morphine.

    Finding A Way Out Of Disability And Addiction Today

    Substance Abuse Among Veterans: Is It Secondary to Mental ...

    Individuals with SUDs may struggle with underlying disorders that they are unaware of. They may have several questions about treatments, medications, and disability services. Contact a treatment provider today to inquire about various treatment plans. Examine your options for faith-based treatments, holistic-based treatments, and peer groups today. Explore the many ways rehab can help you restore your life to one of health and happiness.

    • About

    Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.

    Clinically Reviewed:

    David Hampton

    • About

    All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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    Only Certain Types Of Misconduct Will Keep You From Getting Veterans Disability Benefits

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will not grant disability compensation or pension to a veteran for an injury or illness that was the result of willful misconduct, even if the veteran meets the other basic eligibility requirementsfor veterans benefits. Likewise, if a veteran’s death is found to be the result of willful misconduct, the surviving family will not be able to obtain disability and indemnity compensation .

    Willful misconduct that causes a disability also prohibits eligibility for vocational rehabilitation benefits. However, if a veteran has another service-connected disability that was not caused by willful misconduct, the veteran may be eligible for compensation or pension as well as educational and vocational benefits based on that service-connected disability.

    The Source Of The Myth That You Cant Service Connect A Veterans Drug And Alcohol Abuse

    In 1990, Congress enacted a law that said that the VA could not pay service connected disability compensation if the injury was the result of the Veterans alcohol and drug abuse specifically willful abuse during service.

    This law is the source of the myth. The VA initially said No to any claim for service-connection that even tangentially involved drug or alcohol abuse.

    In 2001, the Federal Circuit issued a decision in a case known as Allen v. Principi.

    The Circuit Courts holding was, specifically, this:

    The law mentioned above does not preclude a Veteran from receiving compensation for alcohol or drug-related disabilities arising secondarily from a service-connected disability, or from using alcohol or drug-related disabilities as evidence of the increased severity of a service-connected disability. Allen v. Principi, 237 F.3d 1368, 1370 .

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    Disability And Addiction To Alcohol

    Numbers of individuals with physical disabilities and alcoholism remain high. The combination of emotional and physical frustrations can greatly contribute to lowered moods and a tendency to self-medicate with alcohol. Studies found that up to 50% of individuals with spinal injuries, orthopedic injuries, and traumatic brain injuries indulged in heavy drinking. The ease with which alcohol can be legally obtained greatly contributes to this problem.

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    What Is Substance Use Disorder?

    Substance use disorder, commonly referred to as addiction, is a disease that affects a persons brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control their use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. As a result of the traumatic events many veterans experience in service, many turn to drugs, alcohol, or other substances to cope with the psychological symptoms that trauma produces. Some of the most common conditions that lead to substance use disorder are PTSD and depression.

    Signs and symptoms of substance use disorder vary from person to person, but the most prevalent are:

    • Increased urge to drink or to use drugs.
    • Inability to stop drinking or using drugs, despite negative consequences.
    • Change in relationships due to drinking or drug use.
    • Feeling depressed or anxious about your substance use.
    • Feeling sick and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when drinking or drug use stops.
    • Increased tolerance, which refers to the need over time for more alcohol or stronger drugs to achieve the desired effect.

    If you or anyone you know is exhibiting any of the symptoms above, please see a doctor. Left untreated, substance use disorder can lead to the development of serious health conditions including heart disease, stroke, and even overdose or death.

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    Veteran Substance Abuse By The Numbers

    There are approximately 23.5 million veterans in the US today and 2.3 million active military service members. It is estimated that 1.5 million veterans had a substance use disorder in 2014.

    According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , an estimated 1 in 15 veterans suffered from a substance abuse disorder in the past year.2 This number can be broken down by the years of service. This includes:

    How To File A Va Disability Claim For Alcoholism

    In general, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs wont provide disability benefits to veterans who try to service-connect their alcoholism. Because a veteran may abuse alcohol for any number of reasons, including as a way to de-stress, as a way to be social, and out of habit, an attempt to connect alcoholism to time spent in the military is usually unsuccessful.

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    How Big Is The Problem

    The 2008 Department of Defense Health Behavior Survey revealed that, over time, tobacco use and illicit drug use were generally reduced among service members. Unfortunately, the same survey reported increases in other areas, such as prescription drug abuse and heavy alcohol use.

    In fact, prescription drug abuse doubled among U.S. military personnel from 2002 to 2005 and almost tripled between 2005 and 2008.

    Alcohol overuse may be the most common form of substance abuse among veterans and those still serving. A three to four month study that looked at Army soldiers returning from Iraq showed that 27% met clinical criteria for alcohol abuse and were at an increased risk of harmful behaviors like drinking and driving or using illicit drugs.

    Contact Cuddigan Law For Help Filing A Va Disability Claim For Alcoholism

    Veterans Drug Abuse: Treatment for Co

    Submitting a successful VA disability claim for alcoholism isnt an easy process. But at Cuddigan Law, we understand that veterans who suffer painful physical injuries during service can face many types of other medical conditions, including alcohol use disorder. Our attorneys have supported veterans for years, and we can help you if you need VA disability benefits for alcoholism. To maximize your chances of success, contact our office online or call us at 933-5405 today, and youll speak to an intake specialist for free.

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