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Alcohol/Drug Abuse and Disability Payments

Contrary to the assumptions of many, alcohol or drug abuse doesn't necessarily disqualify someone from receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) payments. Since 1996, the Social Security Act states that a person is not eligible for disability payments if continuing drug or alcohol abuse is the primary reason for their disability. There are various circumstances, however, in which an individual who has been affected by drug/alcohol abuse (DAA) may still be eligible for disability benefits: · A person has a disability apart from DAA. For instance, in the case of a visually impaired person who is abusing alcohol-but alcohol did not cause their vision impairment-their deficient vision is the source of their disability, not DAA. · Alcohol and/or drugs caused an individual's disability- e.g., liver damage-but he/she has since stopped using them. The ongoing effects of the liver condition will be considered as part of the person's disability.· A person is in recovery for DAA. The Social Security Administration realizes that overcoming addiction is seldom a smooth ride. A relapse will not doom a person's case. Social Security policy states that 30 days of sobriety are generally sufficient for the Social Security Administration to evaluate the impact that DAA has on their disability.The wisest course of action for any disability applicant who is abusing drugs or alcohol is to make a forthright effort to seek treatment. It's best for their health and best for their case. If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits due to drug or alcohol abuse, an SSD attorney may be able to help.

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