According to Alcohol-Information.com, about 14 million Americans either abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. Alcoholism affects people physically and psychologically and the effects are long lasting. Recovery is a lifelong process.
Is Alcoholism Disabling?
Alcoholics sometimes have trouble holding jobs, and they may continue to have trouble even after they stop drinking. After all, they can't go to work while they are in rehab. Alcoholics sometimes suffer from a number of medical problems related to drinking, as well, such as liver damage, heart problems, ulcers and vitamin deficiencies. These conditions may be disabling, at least for a while.
Social Security provides long-term disability benefits for people unable to work due to a disability. Social Security does not consider alcoholism a disability and will not award benefits on that basis. If recovering alcoholics have other physical or psychological disabilities, though, they may qualify.
Some states provide disability benefits, including New Jersey, California, Rhode Island, Hawaii and New York. The available coverage varies among states.
Short-Term Disability Insurance
Short-term disability insurance may provide benefits for recovering alcoholics that are unable to work for a short time due to their condition. Coverage varies among policies.
Other resources may be available for recovering alcoholics through the state in which they live, including food stamps, Medicaid, cash assistance, housing assistance and utility assistance. The availability of such resources varies from state to state.