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Drug and Alcohol Addiction- Can I Still Get Social Security Disability?

It depends. Is alcohol or the use of drugs a contributing factor to your disability? If you are claiming that your disability is solely mental, and it is shown that your drug or alcohol use affects your mental health, you may not be found to be eligible for social security disability.   If you can show that it is not a contributing factor to your mental disability then you may be eligible for disability benefits.  You can do this by having a period of time in which you do not use drugs or drink for a period of time.

If you are claiming disability for physical problems, the difficulty with abusing alcohol or drugs is that it may affect your credibility.   In other words, the Social Security Administration or an ALJ (administrative law judge) may not believe what you say because of your drinking or drug use.

When is alcohol or drug use not a contributing factor?   Well, an example is you have cirrhosis of the liver.   If your doctor states that you will never improve, even if you stopped drinking, then your alcoholism may not be a contributing factor.   If however, your condition would improve if you stopped drinking, then alcoholism would be a contributing factor. So basically the question is would you still be disabled even if you were to quit using drugs or drinking?

If you have a drug or alcohol problem it is in your best benefit to seek treatment for your condition. The Social Security Administration or a judge may look more favorably on a former addict rather than a current addict.

Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.