Can alcoholics and drug addicts get a Social Security benefit for disability?

By / The Claims Process / 16 Comments

Learn when a drug addict or alcoholic can and cannot receive a Social Security benefit based on disability and how a lawyer can help an addict’s claim.

Limitations on Payment of a Social Security Benefit
A number of years ago, Congress passed a law that prohibits payment of a Social Security benefit for disabilities caused by drug or alcohol addiction, including addiction to prescription medications. However, if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and you have a disability that is due to an injury or a separate a physical or mental illness, you could be approved for disability benefits based on the other condition. For example, you may be able to qualify if in addition to an addiction and also have a disabling mental illness or disabling back condition.

Let an Attorney Help
Sometimes it is hard to determine the cause of disabling symptoms, so getting the help of a lawyer who is knowledgeable in Social Security Disability law could make a difference in the outcome of your claim. For more detail, see our article When and How Do I Select an Attorney to Help with My Social Security or SSI Disability Claim?

What About Social Security Retirement?
It is worthwhile to note that addiction does not affect your eligibility for a Social Security benefit based on retirement including early reduced retirement benefits.

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