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Alcoholism and Supplemental Security Disability Insurance

Alcoholism is a very serious illness that is difficult to treat and overcome. Even when people are able to stop drinking, the past chronic use can have very lasting and harmful effects on the body. Scientists have cited at least 60 diseases often diagnosed as a result of alcohol consumption, sometimes years later.

James C. Garbutt, MD, is a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He explained that although there are already many conditions that researchers have linked to drinking, there are still many things left to learn about the effects. “It’s a pretty complicated little molecule,” he said.

WebMD compiled a list of 12 common conditions that people can develop as a result of alcohol consumption. These include:

  1. Anemia
  2. Cancer
  3. Cardiovascular disease
  4. Cirrhosis
  5. Dementia
  6. Depression
  7. Seizures
  8. Gout
  9. High blood pressure
  10. Infectious disease
  11. Nerve damage
  12. Pancreatitis

Alcohol consumption can affect many aspects of people’s lives, including their jobs. It can contribute to attendance issues, safety concerns and inattention, among many other things. 

Although alcoholism can certainly make completing job duties very difficult, it alone is not something for which people can obtain disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

The Social Security Administration considers the symptoms of alcoholism, like the conditions mentioned above, eligible disabilities. As long as applicants have sufficient work credits and can show that they have a qualifying disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year, they may be able to recover benefits.

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