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soafraid 04-30-2008 07:52 PM

Financial help for alcoholics
I am wondering if anyone here has any experience with options that might be available to an alcoholic for financial help. My husband lost his job over six months ago related to alcoholism and has remained unemployed since. I personally do not see a job in his future as his alcoholism has taken a drastic turn for the worse following a short stint in rehab. He now seems to be suffering all sorts of other psychiatric problems made worse by the alcohol use and refusal to stay on medication.

It is my understanding that he will be denied mental disability because he is an alcoholic. He is now way behind on his child support. Are there any options out there? Any type of help for a person like this so that at least his children will be taken care of?

My daughter starts to college on August 22 and will be moving away from home. I will also be moving out at that time and trying to put my life back together in a new place and hopefully with some peace. For now I am the only thing keeping him off the street and his children insured. But my codependent side is alreay worrying or maybe more just wondering what really will happen to him when I am gone?

Any help on options is appreciated.

Glennda 04-30-2008 09:59 PM

Hi soafraid,

I haven't researched this yet but I wanted to respond to try and ease your mind. The laws may have changed in the intervening years but my ex DID get SSI disability for alcoholism.

This was several years ago and in the state of PA. He had to have a documented medical history that he brought with him to the interview. His doctor had medical records showing a history of drug and alcohol misuse, more than one attempt at rehab, and an abysmal work history. If I recall correctly, he also had to have a psychiatric evaluation determining that he was unfit to work. It was a long, drawn out process but in the end he was granted SSI disability, or as he liked to call it, his "drunken check". He also received housing assistance from a state program, food stamps and qualified for Medicaid. He was able to live comfortably enough during his remaining years. I relate this story so you can see that others have been able to go this route. I'm hoping this is still the case.

I'll try and find out more. But I'm thinking that alcoholism IS recognized as a disease by the powers that be and I can't imagine that would change. I don't know this for sure, though. Maybe you can call your local Social Security office and get some answers? I'll try looking on the web site and see if I can find out for sure.

If anyone else knows of any recent cases where alcohol dependent people were granted SSI disability, please post and let us know. This is something I should know, huh?

Try not to worry yet. You have time to arrange things before you leave. I think you have a good plan. I'm sure there is some social service out there that your husband can take advatage of. What state are you in, by the way? Have you looked into what your state has to offer yet? That might be a good starting point. Not to worry, we'll figure something out. Let us know what you discover.

Take Care,

soafraid 05-01-2008 07:43 PM

Hey Glennda, thanks for the reply. I was doing some research on the internet and that is where I found something that said the SSI disability laws had changed to exclude alcoholism and/or drug addiction. I have an appointment set for him to do a phone interview in a couple of weeks. I am sure I will get some answers then but I don't know whether to bring up the alcoholism or keep it quiet. No point in shooting himself in the foot right out of the gate.

The other thing I am trying to understand is the law related to debt. Over the past couple of years I have managed to separate all our debt. We had to file a bankruptcy and following that I made certain that nothing had both our names on it. I am hoping that means I am not responsible for his debt in any way. If anybody knows anything about that I would appreciate advice. He reaffirmed our house but I did not. Do I have any responsibilities there?

sassygirl 05-02-2008 11:42 AM

Contact Bender and Bender.They are the leading SSI lawyers that I know of in fighting for your social security benefits.Social security always denies you at first.They are based in CA.If they cant help you then they can point you in the right direction.

Glennda 05-03-2008 01:14 AM

Hi soafraid,

I looked at the government site for Social Security and it does have drug/alcohol dependence as a "listed" qualifying disease. But it didn't go into much detail.

As for your responsibilities regarding his debt, I don't know. I think it'd be wise to consult with an attorney on that one. You need to know this before you can plan your move. Sometimes you can get these questions answered over the phone if you can find the right lawyer. Good luck and let us know what you find out.

Take care,

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