Jorgensen Law

Social Security Disability and Drug Addiction

It is not possible to win a disability claim that is based on a drug addiction.

It is not possible to win a disability claim that is based on a drug addiction. If you are addicted to drugs, whether legal or illegal substances and you file a claim for Social Security Disability, your claim will be denied. Appeals will also be denied. The Social Security Administration does not recognize drug addiction as a qualifying condition for disability. Currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs excludes claimants from the definition of a disability.

If you apply for Social Security benefits based on a qualifying condition and you are denied benefits because of your drug addiction, you may want to appeal if your addiction has to effect on your disability. For example, if you have terminal cancer but you are addicted to drugs you may be able to win your claim since the drug addiction does not affect your disability of cancer.

Most Administrative Law Judges are negatively influenced by any kind of substance abuse. It makes your case much harder to win. If your disability is not affected by the drugs and would still exist without them, you may still have a chance of winning your claim. However, most ALJs immediately see drug abuse as a red flag and could use that as a factor to deny your case.

If you have a problem with drug addiction, it is best to work on treating the addiction while pursuing your disability claim.