Unfortunately, Social Security Administration — SSA — can’t find you disabled based on you having chronic alcoholism. It is common that many who suffer from chronic alcoholism have either a physical or mental issue that does interfere with their performance at work. If you are still drinking and SSA believes that your condition will improve if you stop drinking, they will not approve you to receive disability benefits. If you do have a history of alcoholism, but you have stopped drinking, you need to prove this to SSA. It does not reflect you receiving any disability benefits if your condition is because of prior drinking, just as long as you don’t drink anymore.
Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance Abuse Disorder recognizes that being a chronic alcoholic can lead to severe illnesses. You must have changes in your behavior or physical changes for you to meet the substance disorder that is listed in SSA’s official Blue Book. The effects of regularly consuming alcohol will affect one’s central nervous system.
Here are several illnesses that can be a result of alcoholism:
● organic mental disorders
● depression syndrome
● anxiety disorders
● personality disorders
● peripheral neuropathies, also known as nerve damage
● liver damage
If you want to qualify for disability benefits, you’ll need to the requirements for one of the illnesses that are listed above. Although chronic alcoholism is certainly an illness, it is not a condition that SSA will consider unless you have developed other conditions as well. Generally, if you suffer from alcoholism, which is a form of mental disorder, you will likely suffer from others as well, that may be considered to receive disability benefits. It is critical that you document all of your mental disorders and conditions in your application properly so you don’t get denied.
If your disability is valid, but you have been denied to receive disability benefits and you don’t drink anymore or your physician has said that you’d have your disability even if you didn’t drink, then you should appeal this. During this process, you should hire a disability lawyer.