Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


What if I am disabled but have a drug or alcohol problem?

Having a physical or mental limitation that it makes it hard for a person to work can be a real emotional burden on Texans.

Sadly, many people who have disabilities turn to drugs of alcohol for comfort. In other cases, a person's alcoholism or drug problem can leave them suffering with debilitating injuries or medical problems.

Thankfully, having a drug or alcohol addiction does not mean that a Killeen or Fort Hood resident cannot get disability benefits. This is true even if the person's disability is actually related to the person's struggles with addiction. Someone who has an alcohol or drug problem should therefore not hesitate to apply for SSD benefits if they are otherwise eligible for them and in need of them.

However, the Social Security Administration does have the option of reviewing a person's records and deciding whether drugs and alcohol contributed to the person's disability. While this option involves a legal test that may work differently from case to case, the basic idea is that if a person would not be disabled but for his or her ongoing drug use, then the Administration will say drugs or alcohol contributed to a person's disability.

Upon making this decision, the Administration can then require that the person receiving benefits undergo and meaningfully participate in drug treatment.

While this treatment will be arranged through, and paid by, the Administration, the downside is that if a person does not participate in the treatment, benefits can be suspended.

Still, the important point is that a Texan who admittedly has drug or alcohol struggles can still file for SSD benefits if they qualify for them. These benefits can help them support themselves financially when they are not able to do so for themselves.

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