Will I Lose My Disability Benefits If I Go to Drug Rehab? (Answered)

Will I lose my disability if I go to drug rehab

Disability is usually classified as any form of physical, emotional, or mental hindrance that causes you not to be able to perform effectively and spans the duration of at least 12 months or more.

If your disability meets this criterion, then you are qualified to receive disability benefits, which are termed Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

SSDI enables you to cover your everyday expenses such as household bills, medical and care expenses, or other financial commitments. As a matter of fact, you need this disability benefit to get on with life without an employment income.

These benefits are paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and are paid as monthly allowances, which can really help in getting rid of your financial constraints.  

Drug Rehabilitation is a widely known medical or psychotherapeutic process used to help treat individuals who have become negatively dependent on psychoactive substances like cocaine, amphetamines, cannabis, and heroin.

It helps to renew the skills you need to survive daily.

Acquiring disability benefits is conditioned and greatly depends on a variety of circumstances pertaining to the reality and nature of the person’s disability. Hence, you may or may not lose your disability benefits if you go to rehab.

Below is why.

Table of Contents

Situation 1 – Addiction as the Only Form of Disability & Disability Caused by Addiction

This situation applies to drug addiction being your only form of disability as at the time of your SSDI application and disability caused by your addiction.

If your drug addiction is the major reason why you are classified as a disabled individual, then you would not be qualified to receive disability benefits because your addiction has caused your inability to perform well at your place of gainful employment.

When this happens, it becomes a hindrance to your source of living – that is, you lose your job because you have become unreliable due to the effects that the drugs have caused to your mental state of health.

Therefore, to continue surviving, you may make applications to start receiving disability benefits only if the assigned medical consultant is able to state that the addiction has caused, for example, liver damage that will ultimately hinder your abilities even after your rehabilitation.

Related: What the Rehabilitation Benefit Covers in a Disability Income Policy

Going to Rehab

can recovering addicts get disability

Due to the fact that every person living with a disability naturally hopes to get well and become independent again (most especially those with temporary forms of disabilities), and the fact that the state requires that level of responsibility from you, you have to go to rehab so that you can get better.

Evaluations are first carried out to find out your level of addiction and to see if truly you are addicted.

Rehab is then prescribed, and subsequent evaluations are carried out to track your progress to determine if the rehab is actually helping to make you better or not.

Will You Lose Your Disability Benefits?

If you become better after being evaluated and leave the category of the addicted, then your disability benefits might continue after your rehab since you have developed a disability because of the addiction.

This is because you have now been perceived as fit from your addictions.

But note that if you don’t seem to be getting better, then the disability benefits would cease until you attain the category of those who have been cleansed of their addictions.

Situation 2 – Addiction as an Additional Form of Disability

This situation is especially if your disability is a permanent type of disability.

If your drug addiction is independent of the nature of your disability, then your disability benefits are also highly independent of your drug addiction.

This means that you have some form of physical, mental, or emotional disability that’s hindering you from performing effectively and earning a decent monthly income. It is expected to last more than 12 months or span the duration of your lifetime.

This type of disability automatically qualifies you to receive disability benefits.

If with this disability you become a drug addict, then your disability benefits are not dependent on your addiction and rehab, but on your previous disability.

Hence, if you are evaluated and perceived to be an addict with your disability condition, then you will be required to start a rehab program that will help you get better.

Related: Homes for People with Disabilities: Everything You Should Know

Will You Lose Your Disability Benefits?

If you don’t get better after several evaluations and rounds of rehab, your disability benefits won’t cease (as long as it doesn’t worsen your disability).

Situation 3 – Addiction Just Before Your Disability Heals

Will I lose my disability if I go to drug rehab

This situation is when your disability is a temporary one.

If, for example, your disability is expected to span the duration of 2 years and you become an addict 6 or 4 months to the end of your disability condition, your disability benefits might cease after the 2 years is completed.

Thus, this applies to whether or not your rehab is completed because your disability benefits were previously dependent on the nature of your disability.

If you’re lucky and you seem to be getting better with the rehab as soon as possible, then your addiction may lengthen the disability benefits that you have been receiving.

However, if the addiction seems to be worsening and you don’t seem to get better, then, unfortunately, your disability benefits will be ceased or you will automatically get disqualified by the SSA to receive SSDI.

Will You Lose Your Disability Benefits?

If your SSDI application is approved, the SSA would not pay the benefits directly to you because of your addiction, even during the period of your rehab.

This is because receiving the benefits might tempt you to continue getting drugs, hence slowing down the progress of your rehabilitation. That is not a situation that the SSA will condone.

Hence, a representative payee who will help you with the management of the allowances will receive the disability benefits on your behalf.

Related: 7 Awesome Jobs that Work with Disabled Children

Requirements that Can Help You Easily Get Disability Benefits

To get the disability benefits you deserve, you will inevitably need:

  • a good attorney that can help you build a strong case
  • sufficient and concrete evidence
  • a strong will to abandon the addiction
  • admission into a rehabilitation centre and
  • a medical consultant assigned to you by the SSA

This medical consultant will be the one to feed the SSA on the results of your evaluations, your health conditions, and the progress of your rehab.

Factors that Can Hinder Your Chances of Getting Disability Benefits

  • Retirement benefits
  • Marital status and family income
Will I Lose My Disability Benefits If I Go to Drug Rehab? (Answered)


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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