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How does addiction affect SSDI benefits?

Few life events can be more stressful than suffering a serious injury or developing a debilitating illness. If your medical condition makes it difficult or impossible to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Before approving your benefits application, officials from the Social Security Administration are likely to perform an in-depth review of your work history and disability. If you struggle with drug or alcohol addiction, securing SSDI benefits may be difficult.

The dangers of substance abuse

Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or using controlled substances may take a tremendous toll on your overall health. In fact, substance abuse may cause catastrophic harm to your brain, liver, kidneys, heart and other organs. Even absent illness or injury, a drug or alcohol addiction may interfere with your ability to work.

The effect on your SSDI benefits application

When analyzing your disability, officials from the SSA are likely to consider whether your drug or alcohol addiction worsens your condition. If it does, you may receive a benefits denial. On the other hand, if your addiction is irrelevant to your medical impairment, SSA officials may decide to approve your benefits application.

Your next steps

SSA officials may receive information about your addiction in several ways, including your medical records. Consequently, if you are thinking about seeking help for your addiction, you may want to explore the possible SSDI-related ramifications of doing so.

Coping with a life-altering injury or illness is difficult enough without having to deal with addiction at the same time. Fortunately, if you can secure SSDI benefits, you may have the financial resources you need to tackle your addiction proactively and positively.