Is Addiction a Disability? Questions about Gambling, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Is Addiction a Disability? Questions about Gambling, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Addition is a complicated illness with a considerable amount of negative stigma. Unfortunately, the common misconceptions of addiction can prevent those suffering from this disease from seeking the help they not only need, but the disability benefits that they may be entitled to. We hope that the following answers provided by the legal experts at Share Lawyers help to illuminate some of this misunderstanding.

Addiction & Disability Claims | Share Lawyers

Are addictions such as alcoholism and drug abuse covered under most health insurance policies?

Having an addiction is generally recognized to be an illness. Whether this will entitle a person to insurance benefits will depend on the specific provisions of the applicable insurance policy. Under the typical group benefit policy, a substance abuse addiction to drugs or alcohol can form the basis of a disabling condition. This would entitle an individual to disability benefits, provided that they are compliant with medical treatment, which may often include the necessity to be actively participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

I have a gambling addiction, for which I am seeking professional help. Am I eligible for disability benefits?

A gambling addiction which includes anxiety, depression, panic and other symptoms that interfere with day-to-day functioning can form the basis for a disability claim. Seeking professional help to deal with the addiction is generally a requirement for qualifying for disability benefits.

When I was in rehab and couldn’t work, I applied for long-term disability but they argued that I am not really disabled, even though my addiction affected by ability to function day-to-day. Is there any way to fight this?

Most Group Disability Benefit Policies do not specifically preclude a claim for disability based on an addiction. Most policies do have requirements for you to be engaged in appropriate treatment and specifically with respect to an addiction, a rehabilitation program aimed at addressing the addiction, but a denial of benefits solely on the basis that an addiction is not really a disability is something that can be challenged. The specific facts of each case must be reviewed to determine the possibility of successfully pursuing benefits or a settlement, but it is something that should definitely be looked into.

Do you suffer from an addition? The legal experts at
Share Lawyers are available to discuss your legal rights and counsel you on next steps to obtain the disability benefits from your insurance company.


Has your long term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

We have recently settled cases against State Farm, Cigna, National Bank Insurance, Foresters, Teachers Life, and many more. Please share your own experience with us, we love hearing feedback from our clients.