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Can you get disability benefits if you suffer from alcoholism?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Alcoholism is not a disability under the Social Security Administration rules. It actually may impact your ability to get benefits.

There is a misconception that people can get a disability for being an alcoholic, but that is not how the system works. While it may be a health problem, it is not a qualifying condition under the Social Security Administration rules, and it could end up invalidating other qualifying conditions you have so that you cannot receive benefits. The Social Security Administration explains you must prove that your alcoholism is not a contributing factor to the condition that qualifies you for disability benefits.

Contributing factor

A contributing factor means that if you stopped drinking, your qualifying condition would go away or improve to the point that it would no longer be a qualifying condition. In other words, drinking is causing the condition you have to stay bad enough that it makes you disabled under the SSA’s definition.


The SSA will assess your case to determine if your alcoholism is a contributing factor. Officials will consider your medical records and evidence provided by medical professionals. In the event the SSA determines that your alcoholism is causing your disabled status, you will not be eligible to receive benefits.


There is one exception to the contributing factor rule. The SSA will not use your alcoholism as a contributing factor if you qualify for disability due to blindness or age.

You cannot qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with alcoholism as your qualifying disability. The SSA will actually look to see if alcoholism is making your condition occur or worsen and deny benefits if it is.


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