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Can I Receive SSDI Benefits on the Basis of Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Social Security Disability

Collin County SSD Benefits LawyerMany individuals who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction are unable to keep a steady job due to their addiction. But does this mean that you can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits based on your addiction? The short answer is no, you cannot. However, it is possible to obtain SSDI benefits for other conditions—even if you have an addiction. Let’s look at what you need to prove in order to get disability benefits for a condition other than substance abuse or addiction.

What Does the SSA Consider a Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a disability as “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must prove that the impairments that prevent them from working were not caused by their own drug or alcohol abuse.

If Your Condition Is Linked With Addiction

In some cases, however, individuals with an addiction may still be eligible for SSDI benefits if they are able to show that their condition is linked with another medical issue, such as cancer or severe depression. In such instances, it is important for applicants to provide evidence—such as doctor's notes and medical records—that proves the connection between their addiction and the other medical conditions.

If you hope to receive disability benefits for your condition, you will need to show the SSA that your condition would still keep you from maintaining gainful employment if you were to stop using drugs or alcohol. For example, if the SSA determines that even if you could break your addiction to painkillers but the underlying condition that causes your pain—such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis—would remain, you might still qualify for disability benefits. However, if your condition is considered likely to improve upon getting the addiction under control—to the point that you could work gainfully again—your application for benefits would probably be denied.

Other Options for Financial Assistance

Aside from SSDI benefits, there are several other financial assistance options available for individuals suffering from addiction-related issues. These include Medicaid and Medicare coverage, food stamps/SNAP benefits, housing assistance programs, and grants provided by federal agencies like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Depending on state laws and eligibility requirements, you may also be able to receive unemployment insurance if you have been unable to work due to your condition.

Contact a Texas Disability Attorney

Substance abuse and addiction issues can severely complicate an application for Social Security disability benefits. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction but have another condition that might qualify for SSDI benefits, contact one of the experienced Dallas SSDI benefits lawyers at The Law Offices of Coats & Todd. Call 972-671-9922 for a free case evaluation today.





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