Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

Posted on: June 2nd, 2013

“Why do all the drug addicts get on disability?”

I am frequently asked this question by frustrated claimants. The truth is that no one receives Social Security Disability or SSI based on their drug addiction or alcoholism. If drug addiction or alcoholism are found to be a contributing factor that is material to the finding of disability, then the claim will be denied. In other words, the claimant must have some other disabling condition other than drug addiction or alcoholism. We must prove that if the claimant were to stop using, he would still be unable to work.

What is the best way to prove this?

Stay clean and sober. Then we can show what problems still remain during a period of abstinence. The road to sobriety is not easy, so I would urge anyone struggling with these issues to seek help. To find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in South Jersey call (866) 920-1212.  A listing of Narcotics Anonymous meetings can be found at www.nanj.org.  If a beneficiary has a history of drug or alcohol problems, Social Security may appoint a representative, i.e., a relative or friend who can handle the funds.

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