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Handling Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability Cases Involving Alcohol or Drug Use

An Update

By Linda Landry

Since 1995, back-to-back legislative changes have made obtaining social security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits for individuals with substance-abuse problems increasingly difficult. An individual may not be found eligible for these benefits if drug addiction or alcoholism is "material" to the disability determination. In handling these challenging cases, advocates may find it necessary to educate Social Security Administration adjudicators on the relevant law and policy.

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