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A Bad Cocktail: Why Alcohol and New Hampshire Social Security Disability Don’t Mix


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9/18/2014
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We understand. Applying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits in New Hampshire is stressful. Sometimes, you just want a nice glass of wine to take the edge off, right?

Unfortunately, alcohol and SSDI are a lethal combination. Although they might not be lethal to you physically, alcohol can have a deadly effect on your application and chances at approval. Or, at least, that is the case in some circumstances.

The Truth About Alcohol and SSDI in New Hampshire

There are a lot of myths swirling around about alcohol and SSDI. Some people believe that any level of alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on getting approved. Others believe that alcoholism is in and of itself grounds to apply for SSDI in New Hampshire.

The middle ground between these common myths is where you can find the truth.

Individuals who consume alcohol may be awarded SSDI in New Hampshire as long as the consumption of alcohol does not contribute to their disability. This is where it gets confusing. At times, even as New Hampshire Social Security disability attorneys, we have to take a step back to think about what this means and how it impacts our clients’ applications.

Last year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) created a series of questions to help clarify how cases are decided for applicants who drink. If you regularly indulge in alcohol while applying for SSDI, here are some of the questions that will be asked while evaluating your case:

  • Do you suffer from a disability as is listed by the SSA?
  • Does substance abuse have any involvement in your case?
  • Is alcohol abuse the only disability in your case?
  • Are you doing further damage by drinking, or would your disability be just as severe with or without alcohol?
  • Does alcohol have an effect on any other impairment you suffer from?
  • If you did not drink, would you still be considered “disabled?”


When looking at your case, the SSA will need to determine the direct impact alcohol consumption has on your disability and any other medical impairment you may have. If it has a direct impact, and if you could control your symptoms by eliminating alcohol, you will be denied. If you would be disabled to the same extent with or without alcohol, then having a glass or two of wine with your nightly dinner probably won’t have a negative impact on your application.

Alcohol consumption and approval of SSDI in New Hampshire is a delicate combination. If you have questions about your case, we encourage you to contact us for further clarification. Call today to speak with a Social Security disability attorney.



Category: I Need to Apply

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law

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