If you have chronic alcoholism, can you receive Social Security Disability benefits?

Like any Social Security Administration — SSA — disability, your chronic alcoholism needs to meet requirements that are in the listed section in the Blue Book. If your impairments meet a medical condition that is listed, then you may be eligible for SSD benefits. If you did quit drinking alcohol, but meet the requirements, you will still be considered disabled.

Disability Benefits for Chronic Alcoholism

Unfortunately, your diagnosis of chronic alcoholism will not prove that you are disabled according to SSA. Though, there are many people with chronic alcoholism that end up having physical and mental changes due to alcohol that have limited their ability to function at work and perform basic daily skills. If you are still drinking, the SSA will advise that you stop drinking because that will help improve your condition to where you will no longer be disabled and no longer need to be on disability benefits.

What Qualifies As a Substance Addiction Disorder

  • Neurocognitive Disorders: This disorder is a decrease in mental function that is caused by damage to your brain because of a disease or injury. Chronic alcoholism frequently causes neurocognitive disorder. Some symptoms of this disorder as decrease in judgment, memory loss, poor social judgment, and a lack of coordination, just to name a few. Your deficits should limit you in work and performing daily duties that you were once able to perform.
  • Depressive Syndrome: Depressive is oftentimes caused by alcoholism and can be evaluated in mood disorders in the Blue Book.
  • Anxiety Disorders: Alcoholism can lead to long-term anxiety, whether people believe that or not. There is more information on anxiety disorders, but it is the most common emotional disorder.
  • Peripheral Neuropathies: This happens when there is damage that has been done to your peripheral nervous. This system is involved with transmitting information from your brain to your body. Alcoholism can cause what we call peripheral neuropathy.
  • Liver Damage: Most of the liver disease that is in the U.S. is caused because of alcoholism. Liver damage that is done because of an excessive amount of alcohol consumption is a common listing for disability.
  • Gastritis: A common cause for gastritis is extreme alcohol abuse. The excessive amount of alcohol inflames the lining in your stomach and that is how this disease is caused. This will be listed under the digestive system in the Blue Book.
  • Pancreatitis: The pancreas is a main target when consuming a lot of alcohol. This will cause the pancreas to inflame.
  • Seizures: Sometimes referred to as “rum fits,” heavy drinking can lead to seizures, whether a person is epileptic or not.

It is critical to stop drinking to help improve your disorder. This will give you a faster turnaround time so you can not be considered disabled anymore. At times, SSA will require that you quit drinking for at least 30 days so they can see if your symptoms have improved at all. If applying for disability benefits for chronic alcohol, please consult with a lawyer.


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