There is a public perception that those who suffer from drug abuse or alcoholism
(DAA) will never be granted approval for disability benefits. That isn't
to say, however, that benefits are granted purely on the basis of an alcoholism
or drug addiction diagnosis. In the middle of these two myths is the truth
– while drugs and alcohol don’t always impact your chances
of eligibility for benefits, that doesn’t mean it never will.
A disability claim can be denied by Social Security if it is determined
that the individual’s drug and alcohol addiction is a major factor
that contributes to his or her disability. If the individual, however,
would still meet the requirements without the drug and alcohol abuse,
Social Security will consider their case.
To determine if drug or alcohol addiction is material to the determination
of disability, Social Security will ask the following questions:
- Is there a history of DAA?
- Is the addiction the only impairment?
- Would the individual still be eligible for disability without DAA?
- Does DAA make a significant impact on the individual’s medical impairments?
Mental Impairments Caused by DAA
There are some cases where DAA will cause mental impairments, such as depression
and anxiety. While it’s extremely difficult to prove whether these
specific mental impairments would still exist in the absence of the abuse
and addiction, the opinion and testimonies of medical professionals who
routinely treated the claimant will be heavily relied on to make a determination
on the claimant's eligibility.
Those who are struggling with drug abuse or alcoholism are facing an uphill
battle when it comes to applying for disability benefits. With proper
representation, however, a successful outcome is certainly possible. At
Coats & Todd, our Dallas social security disability lawyers have more
than 40 years of combined experience and are committed to providing attentive
We proudly represent clients throughout the entire Dallas Fort Worth Metro
Area. Call (888) 898-9189 or schedule a
free case evaluation with us online.