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How does drug addiction and/or alcoholism affect your case?

The current law is the “Senior Citizen’s Right to Work Act of 1996” that eliminated Drug and Alcohol Addiction as a basis for Disability. The Act says that individuals are not disabled if the drug and alcohol addiction is a contributing factor to the individual’s disability.

 

That is to say that if your disability would exist in the absence of drug and alcohol abuse, then you can properly be found disabled. If, on the other hand, your drug and alcohol addiction contributes to your disability, then the Social Security Administration will find you not disabled.

 

If there is evidence in your file of a drug or alcohol problem, then the Social Security Administration has to determine whether your disability would stand alone or whether your drug and alcohol addiction adds to your disability. This is an especially difficult task when there are psychological impairments involved.

 

To figure out how your drug and alcohol addiction has or has not contributed to your disability, the Social Security Administration will look at periods of abstinence and compare the physical and psychological findings during that time and during a period when you were using. If there is no point of abstinence, get a statement from a treating physician explaining how your drug and alcohol addiction does not contribute to your disability.

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