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Can I still get disability with a drinking or drug problem?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Although people may not like to talk about it, many Charlotte residents suffer with alcoholism or some form of drug addiction. Oftentimes, they are still able to go to work and live productive lives despite their struggles. However, such behavior does have a tendency to take its toll on the body. On some occasions, a person may develop a medical or mental health problem that can be directly tied, or partially tied, to his or her addiction. These problems can force a North Carolina resident out of the work force permanently, leaving them to find some means of paying the bills.

The good news is that Social Security disability benefits are still available for those who struggle with drugs or alcohol, even if their addiction may have contributed to the disability in some way. As this blog has mentioned before, Social Security is a no-fault system, meaning that, for the most part, so long as a person qualifies as disabled, there will not be questions asked about who is responsible for the injury or illness.

There is a slight catch in that the Social Security Administration may, in reviewing the medical evidence, decide that alcoholism or drug addiction contributed to a person’s disability. Upon making that decision, the Administration can require an applicant to participate in treatment if he wants to continue receiving benefits. Usually, this treatment is provided at no cost, but the applicant will have to make sure he attends and participates faithfully.

The bottom line is that a person who is disabled and cannot work should not be scared off from applying for disability just because he has suffered from addiction. Still, applying for benefits with the help of an experienced attorney may be a good idea.