Substance abuse, including but not limited to drug use and alcoholism, can cause irreversible and damaging harm to a person's mind and body. Even if the individual is able to overcome their addiction they may still suffer from the effects of their affliction for the rest of their lives. For this reason, some individuals who have suffered from substance abuse may be eligible to seek disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.
When a Missouri resident begins the process of applying for benefits based on the past substance abuse, they will need to satisfy many of the requirements that other disabled men and women must also address. They will need to prove with evidence that they meet the definition of "disabled" and they will need to offer information regarding their capacity to do work.
However, they must also show that their past use of drugs or alcohol caused them to suffer one of several recognized disorders in order to receive benefits based on a mental illness or disability. Those disorders include organic mental disorders, anxiety, personality disorders or depression. A person must not be abusing alcohol or drugs when they apply for disability benefits, as this can result in a denial of their application.
A drug or alcohol problem can derail a person's life. It can cause them to lose their job, disassociate from their friends and family and develop serious mental and physical issues that may plague them for the rest of their life. Disability benefits may be available to individuals who have overcome their substance abuse problems, but who cannot move their lives forward due to the damage that their pasts caused them.