Many are aware that prolonged, repetitive use can cause an individual to become dependent on a drug, regardless of whether the latter is illicit or prescribed. Drug addiction is also likely to lead to a host of medical conditions that can impair one’s ability to function properly for his means of living. Now if one has been suffering from addiction, he may want to know whether he has a chance to qualify for SSA’s disability benefits.
As a matter of fact, SSA uses its Blue Book (a list of impairments) as reference and in no way can one find drug addiction there. Though substance abuse does impair one’s ability to work, the SSA does not approve benefits with it as mere basis. An individual’s application is likely to be denied if drug addiction is ‘material’ to his disability. In other words, if he stops being disabled once he ceases to take drugs, then that makes him ineligible for benefits.
However, if his impairment continues even if he stops his substance abuse, then his application will be reviewed in the same manner as other applications, provided such impairment is listed in the Blue Book. For instance, certain drugs could lead to cardiovascular diseases. Prescription drugs may cause depression and other anxiety disorders. If these are to have a long-term or permanent effect, even without drug use, the SSA may consider one for disability benefits.
Medical facilities should solicit the help of eligibility companies in explaining this difference to disability claimants, so that applications will be properly accomplished.