Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
You Take Care of Your Health, We’ll Take Care of Your Case
27+ Years Helping the Disabled
Phone: 888-512-7031

Will I be allowed to draw disability if I have a drug addiction?

New Jersey residents who have struggled with a drug or alcohol addiction know how difficult it can be to overcome. Far from simply being a matter of making the necessary effort to break a bad habit, getting the upper hand over an addiction can takes years of hard emotional and even physical work.

In the meantime, Newark residents can also have other issues, such as a diagnosed mental illness, that leaves them disabled and unable to support themselves, an issue which can in turn throw a person deeper into the cycle of addiction. Fortunately, however, a history of drug or alcohol addiction does not, per se, disqualify a person from applying for and ultimately drawing disability benefits.

At the time of a person’s application, the Social Security Administration will review a person’s medical history, including any history of drug and alcohol use or, as the case may be, abuse. After reviewing a person’s history, the SSA will determine whether any of the applicant’s otherwise disabling conditions would not be as such if the applicant would be able to overcome the addiction. If the SSA determines that, on the whole, a person would be disabled regardless of the drug addiction, then the application for benefits will proceed as usual.

If, on the other hand, the SSA decides a person’s drug addiction is a “contributing factor” to the disability, that person may still apply for benefits; however, the person will eventually have to undergo drug treatment at no cost at an approved facility. If a person chooses not to take the drug treatment or does not follow the rules of the treatment program, then the SSA may stop paying benefits.

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