Is Drug or Alcohol Abuse a Disability?

Tulsa Social Security Attorneys on Disability Claims Involving Substance Abuse

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not award disability benefits solely for drug or alcohol addictions. However, an individual may be entitled to disability benefits for a medical condition brought on by drug or alcohol abuse. A disability claim for someone with a condition caused by drugs or alcohol will only be successful if the continued use of drugs or alcohol is not contributing to the disability.

Whether or not you will qualify for Social Security benefits if you have a drug or alcohol problem depends on the particular circumstances of your case. At Troutman & Troutman, P.C., disability law is all we do. Our disability lawyers in Tulsa, OK represent each client to the best of their abilities, regardless of a client’s past or current substance abuse. If drug addiction or alcoholism has left you with a disabling medical condition, then call us. We invite you to talk with one of our experienced Social Security attorneys during a free consultation.

Can Using Drugs or Alcohol Affect My Disability Claim?

When you apply for disability, the SSA will make a determination of whether substance abuse is a material contributing factor to your disability. Material means the substance abuse is contributing to, or worsening, your medical condition. The Administration will also consider whether you would qualify for insurance benefits if you did not abuse alcohol or drugs. If they find that without using you still do not qualify, then the SSA will deny benefits.

For example, let’s say you have a drug addiction and suffer from seizures. The SSA determines the frequency of seizures would continue even if you stopped using drugs. In that case, you may receive disability benefits. On the other hand, if the SSA determines your seizure condition would medically improve if you stopped using drugs, then the SSA will likely consider your drug addiction material to your disability and deny benefits.

One of the steps in approving disability insurance is the SSA reviewing your medical records. If at one point your doctor noted a suspected substance abuse problem, then the SSA may use this as reason to deny your disability claim. Proving that drug addiction or alcoholism is immaterial, or does not contribute to a disability claim, can be difficult. Have a qualified disability lawyer review your medical records and guide you through the entire disability claim process.

Am I Eligible for Benefits If I Still Use Drugs and Alcohol?

If you have a current, ongoing substance abuse problem, the Social Security Administration will likely issue your SSD payments to a representative payee. Your representative payee, may be a friend, family member or a qualified organization. The representative payee will then be responsible for managing your checks. This ensures you do not spend the funds on drugs or alcohol.

Find a Lawyer for Social Security Disability Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Substance abuse typically does not prevent a person from receiving Social Security disability benefits for a medical condition that has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Do not let drug or alcohol addiction stop you from seeking Social Security benefits. Please contact a Tulsa disability attorney today. Our Social Security law firm wants to ensure all claimants receive the insurance benefits they need and deserve.