Do Employers Drug Test for Short Term Disability?

do employers drug test for short term disability

A drug test is a type of test that is carried out on an individual to test for the presence of illegal substances or abuse of drugs in the body system.

It is usually carried out using your blood, sweat, saliva, hair, or urine.

Some of the substances that are usually checked for are steroids, marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine, barbiturates, amphetamines, and methamphetamine.

Drug tests are usually done in various industries and for various reasons.

Read on as I reveal whether or not employers drug test employees.

Table of Contents

Circumstances That Can Warrant a Drug Test

A drug test, also known as substance abuse testing or sports doping test, has situations that can call for it.

They include the following.

Sports Purpose

This is perhaps the most common form of drug testing.

All sports organizations test athletes for performance-enhancing drugs and other substances.

Sadly, some athletes are always found guilty to be high on substances that result in their extraordinary performances.

Related: Can You Get Temporary Disability for Rotator Cuff Surgery? (Answered)

Medical Purposes

Drugs that contain opioids like codeine and the rest, which are mostly used to relieve chronic pain, can bring about situations where a medical practitioner will have the patient drug tested.

This is done to know if the right dosage is taken and to control dosage usage.

Some court cases require drug testing of plaintiffs and criminals. This is common in cases of accidents where the drug test is done on the victim.

Work Purposes

Some employers are very keen on drug testing either before hiring you or after hiring you. Thus, upon securing gainful employment, you should have in mind that you might be drug tested.

Do Employers Drug Test for Short Term Disability?

do they drug test for short term disability

Yes, employers do.

They have the legal right to drug test for short-term disability if there are good grounds and reasons to test you.

This, however, must be carried out only under a proper occupational health and safety policy.

Every organization has an occupational health and safety policy. This gives the employer the right to carry out drug tests on employees for proper workplace safety and decorum.

This right is also especially exercised if the employer notices sudden and strange acts from the employees and if an employee develops a sudden short-term disability.

The employee, however, has the right to refuse a drug test (especially on the grounds of workplace harassment) if there is no solid reason to drug test them.

Related: 7 Awesome Jobs that Work with Disabled Children

Factors That Induce Drug Tests by Employers

Some signs and symptoms are very synonymous with drug abuse and the side effects of some short-term disabilities.

You might automatically be scheduled for a drug test if your employer notices these signs. They are listed below.

does short term disability require drug test


When you’re frequently paranoid and you have a certain unrealistic distrust of other people, then you’re suffering from paranoia. This is also a side effect of most substance abuse.

Depending on the degree of this symptom, you can either be classified as an individual who has a short-term disability that can be taken care of with therapy or an individual who is schizophrenic.

Schizophrenia is a long-term psychotic mental illness.

Paranoia can also be a symptom of stroke, be it temporary or permanent. Hence, your employer has the right to drug test you if they notice this kind of constant behavior from you.

This is because you’re potential harm to yourself and those around you.

Mydriasis and/or Miosis

This means excessive dilation and/or contraction of your pupils.

It can occur as a result of temporary or permanent injury to your eye or brain or as a result of an intake of illicit substances.

Because your employer might not know exactly what kind of disability you’re suffering from, you might be required to take a drug test to clear things up.

Panic Attacks

A panic attack indicates a sudden surge of intense fear that produces extreme physical reactions from an individual when in reality there is no real danger at the moment.

It is usually classified and diagnosed under a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

The States Social Security Administration (SSA) often needs medical evidence of diagnosis to classify it as a disability and qualify your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) earnings.

This attack can become worrying to your employer and he/she might encourage you to take a drug test to help secure your employment.

Related: Does Having a Medical Card Affect Your Social Security Benefits? (Answered)

Slow or Slurred Speech

Disabilities like temporary or permanent stroke, migraines, dysarthria, and certain neuromuscular disorders can cause slurred and slow speech.

Migraine is classified as a disability if it is chronic and disables you from working. You can even apply and qualify for disability benefits for migraine.

Since the misuse of some of these drugs causes slow or slurred speech, it might warrant drug testing from your employer, especially if it starts suddenly.


Most times when you’re depressed or experiencing grief, you tend to feel agitated.

And as you know, depression has a high tendency to be classified as a short-term mental disability. Therapies can greatly help in relieving depressed feelings.

If you’re constantly stirred up, excited, irritable, tensed, confused, restless, or annoyed in your workplace, then you have given your employer enough reason to think that you are high on certain substances.

Your employer can then have the right to proceed and have you drug tested.


Alcohol and substance abuse are major causes of nausea.

A lot of illnesses have nausea as their symptoms. For example, chronic migraine and CVS (Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome).

Hence, you’re likely to not escape drug testing from your employer if it becomes a norm with you.

Difficulty Breathing

Abuse of drugs can result in breathing difficulties for an individual.

Similarly, disabilities like cerebral palsy and most respiratory disorders can also cause difficulties in breathing.

It may, therefore, make your employer test you for drugs intake.

Do Employers Drug Test for Short Term Disability?


My love for the disabled community started when I helped a blind man cross the road at around age 6. Fast forward to decades later, I became the caregiver of my grandma, who lost her ability to speak in her 90s. This blog helps me to produce helpful content that aligns with my passion.

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