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How might alcoholism impact Social Security Disability benefits?

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

There is a common misunderstanding that a person can get Social Security Disability benefits for alcoholism. This is completely false.

In fact, the Social Security Administration explains if you are an alcoholic, your claim will go through a process to validate whether your drinking is causing your disability.

Contributing factor

When alcoholism is a contributing factor to your disability, the SSA will not approve your disability claim. You are not eligible for benefits.

A contributing factor means that your alcoholism is causing your disability. If you were to stop drinking, then your condition would improve. In addition, your condition would no longer make you eligible for disability benefits if your drinking was not a factor.

Benefit eligibility

You are only eligible for benefits if your alcoholism is not causing or worsening the condition for which you are applying for benefits. In other words, if you stopped drinking, your condition would not get better or go away.


The SSA will put your claim through a process to make its determination. It will require medical evidence about your condition.


Contributing factor does not mean a cause. If your alcoholism caused your disorder or condition, then the SSA may consider it not a contributing factor. These are general conditions that were brought on by alcoholism but that will not go away even if you stopped drinking.

Alcoholism is not a valid condition that qualifies for disability benefits on its own. The SSA carefully considers and evaluates your case to determine if you have a valid condition outside of the alcoholism before approving you for benefits.