Use of Drugs and Alcohol and How it Affects Social Security Disability Claims

September 9, 2019

If you're using illegal drugs (or misusing prescription drugs) and/or excessively drinking alcohol, to the point where your physician is documenting it in your medical records....you got a problem.

 

Perhaps even more than just a personal problem in which you need some professional help.

 

You're also likely to have problems winning your Social Security disability case.

 

Let's first start with how the Administration will treat your alcohol or drug use. The Rule is: Is if the usage caused your condition or if the condition could have improved without the usage, then it is material to your claim and you are going to be denied.

 

But it goes even further than that.

 

A claimant who consistently abuses alcohol or any kind of drug, to the point his or her physician is documenting it, will also likely receive prejudicial treatment from SSA.

 

At the initial and reconsideration phase, the reviewing doctor will take the usage into consideration. If you must attend a hearing, judges do not often look upon such usage favorably. It shows flaws in character as well as makes claimants look untruthful when asking about their conditions. Further yet, if the claimant lies about the usage and the judge knows, then any testimony concerning his or her impairments will be heavily scrutinized. If you can't tell the truth about alcohol or drug usage, then you're not able to tell the truth about your reasons why you can't work.

 

Plus, if you have the money and time to be using, you could have better spent them attempting to get better so you could possibly return to work.

 

Rule of thumb, stop using. For some judges, even moderate amounts of alcohol show an unwillingness to better oneself and get back to work. Even moderate misuse of any kind of drug should speak for itself. 

 

We help claimants throughout Texas and the nation fight for their Social Security disability benefits. If we can help, always feel free to contact us at: (888) 780-9125.

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