Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

Qualifying for SSDI based on substance addictions

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2015 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Conditions

Most people know that Social Security disability benefits are available to working-age Americans who suffer from disabling conditions. The types of disabling conditions for which an applicant can be approved run the gamut from various types of cancer to mental illness, and many conditions in between. Not everybody might realize, though, that SSDI benefits may be available for those who suffer from substance addictions.

Those who suffer with substance addiction disorders, in order to qualify for SSDI, must, €”like all applicants, €”be in a position where their earnings are quite low. At present, that generally means less than $1,090 per month. Eligibility is also dependent on a claimant’€™s ability to demonstrate that the substance addiction interferes with basic work-related activities, and that it meets certain criteria that characterize the conditions associated with the addiction.

In its official listing of impairments, the agency specifies that the required severity for substance addictions can be met by providing sufficient evidence for disabling conditions related to the central nervous system. This includes conditions like: organic mental disorders; anxiety disorders; liver damages; and pancreatitis. A claimant would, therefore, need to present evidence that satisfies the requirements of such impairments.

Qualifying for SSDI based on a substance addiction also requires demonstrating an inability to engage in past work or other types of work. Demonstrating that the inability to engage in work stems from the disabling condition rather than irresponsibility and poor decision-making is an important task for the claimant. This is why it is important to have the condition well-documented and to obtain trustworthy records from medical and other health care professionals and counselors.

Living with a disabling condition can be very burdensome, but SSDI benefits can make a difference. Those who feel they may qualify for benefits based on a substance addiction should speak to a qualified SSDI attorney to have their case evaluated and to receive advocacy throughout the SSDI claims process.