Personal Injury and Social Security Disability Attorneys


Are Smokers Being Cheated Out of Disability?

Disability Attorneys at Avard Law Offices, P.A. Announce Findings Regarding Discrimination of Smokers in Disability Cases

Disability attorneys at Avard Law Offices, P.A., announce that smokers may be discriminated against when filing disability cases. A publically released federal court complaint illustrates how the U.S. government has admitted that cigarettes are “highly addictive”, and that “people are unable to stop”.  It also highlights the fact that the U.S. government has prosecuted and sued tobacco companies for hiding the true nature of cigarettes, therefore creating millions of addicts.  However, the same government has routinely rejected disability cases because of an individual’s failure to stop smoking.  Disability attorneys at Avard Law Offices point out this incongruence, and argue that smoking should not be a determining factor in disability cases.

“It is not logical that government can be in one court, suing or prosecuting tobacco companies, then come into another court and say it is the smoker’s own fault that they smoke, and that it contributes to their disabilities,” said Carol Avard of Avard Law Offices, P.A.

The Disability Attorneys at Avard Law Offices, P.A. referenced a recent disability case in which the cessation of smoking had been repeatedly recommended and urged by the court.  The plaintiff testified that he repeatedly tried to “kick the habit” but that he “can’t stop” in that cigarette smoking is “addicting”. The FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration) agrees, noting the “highly addictive nature of cigarettes”.  However, some social security disability administrative law judges still attempt to deny disability cases if the applicant is addicted to cigarettes.

In some cases, a person may have been recommended by their physician to seek treatment, which would help them quit smoking.  However, if they refuse this treatment, then it may affect their disability case.  However, the law is very clear about what the court may consider a “failure to comply” with such treatment recommendations.  The court may consider four factors, including:  1) whether the treatment will restore plaintiff’s ability to work; (2) whether the treatment was prescribed; (3) whether the treatment was refused; and, if so, (4) whether the refusal was without justified excuse.

“People with a severe physical or mental disability often require assistance,” added Avard. “These clients, with or without a smoking problem, should be able to receive the help they need. We work with our disabled clients and help the adjudicator understand the law from a nonbiased stand point, and get to the facts about a person’s disability.  Smoking should be neither a cause nor contributing factor in the decision of a disability case, and we fight for our clients to assure that the courts make a fair decision about their case.”

About Avard Law Offices, P.A.:

Attorneys at Avard Law Offices, P.A. have been handling Social Security and Long Term Disability cases since 1981. Avard Law has Board Certified Disability Attorneys. When selecting a Social Security Disability Attorney, it is important to know if the Attorney will take your case up through the Federal Court system. Many representatives handling Social Security Disability cases do not appeal to the Federal Courts. Avard Law Offices, P.A. has numerous published cases and non-published cases concerning important issues on Social Security Disability matters.  Avard Law Offices, P.A. has also handled Veterans Disability and State Disability Retirement cases, as well as, Long-Term Disability cases against insurance companies with equal vigor and has litigated ERISA cases in the Federal Courts.

In addition,  Avard Law Offices, P.A. also handles Immigration Law, Personal Injury & Accidents, and Employment Discrimination cases.   Their experienced team of attorneys are dedicated to working hard for their clients, with offices located in Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Bradenton, Sarasota, Sebring,  Port Charlotte., and Naples

For more information, call 800-814-0808 or visit