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Can alcoholics and drug addicts really get Social Security disability benefits?

One of the greatest myths there is in the Social Security disability area is that somebody who's an addict or is addicted to alcohol can get Social Security disability or SSI benefits. If alcoholism or drug abuse is one of the primary cause of your disability or even exacerbation of a mental condition for example, you will not be eligible for benefits. What I tell my clients is I will not accept a client unless if they have an alcohol or a drug problem unless they stop cold turkey, we won't represent them. Another example of this is somebody who has claimed a COPD problem, but continues to smoke. As long as you keep on engaging in activities that exacerbate your condition, not following doctor's advice that continues to make your condition worse, then whoever is looking at a claim is just going to deny it. That's a practical application of that rule.