In a large number of Social Security matters, treatment for drug or alcohol addiction is needed and medical records filed with Social Security need to reflect such treatment.
The general rule is that where drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability, a claimant will be found not disabled.
However, the issue of whether or not a claimant’s alcoholism meets this standard is not addressed until it is found that the claimant is disabled as a result of all of his medical conditions and impairment. Once disability is found, Social Security will review all of the impairments and determine whether or not that individual would still be disabled if he or she did not have the drug or alcohol addiction.
In short, drug or alcohol addiction can complicate and sometimes hurts a claimant’s chances of securing benefits.
If an applicant has been sober and is in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, it will generally have no effect on his or her case assuming that there are other impairments that meet Social Security’s criteria.