When people apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, they are required to answer a host of questions regarding their physical and mental state, as well as supply certain documentation from medical professionals showing the current status of their illness or condition. If you have a drinking or drug problem when applying for these services, your habits will be taken into consideration as the SSA evaluates your application, condition and overall need for disability benefits.
The SSA may first determine if alcohol or drugs are a contributing factor to your disability by looking at whether you act in a disabled manner when you are not taking the drugs or alcohol. The administration often separates the problem of drug and alcohol addiction from the root cause of the disability. For example, if the applicant is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, the representative evaluating the case would need to see how the patient functions without using drugs or alcohol. Would the patient qualify for SSDI benefits when they are not using these substances?
If you do meet all the requirements for SSDI benefits, through medical evidence and workplace documentation, then you may still be granted benefits. Keep in mind that each case is unique and the SSA makes a determination based on the specific details of each situation. However, you may still be able to receive SSDI benefits even when having a substance abuse problem if your disability meets all of the standards put in place by the SSA.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.