COVID-19 Notice: Midwest Disability, PA is fully operational in accordance with safety regulations provided by the CDC and local health officials. Our attorneys continue to provide quality legal representation and are available to discuss your case over the phone or by e-mail.

Recreational Marijuana Use and Social Security Disability Claims

As 2020 began, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.

Could that affect your disability claim? Well, like many things in Social Security disability law, the answer is "it depends."

First, it's important to remember that though marijuana may be legal in your state, it remains illegal at the federal level, which is where all disability claims are handled.

While the Social Security Administration hasn't explicitly addressed the use of recreational (or even medical) marijuana by claimants, there is a longstanding policy to deny claims when drug or alcohol use is a "material factor" in the claim.

Essentially, what this means is that Social Security will not find you disabled if your disability is caused by ongoing drug or alcohol use or made worse by those substances. However, if you have stopped using drugs or alcohol and your condition does not improve, or gets worse, you can still be found disabled, even if those substances initially caused your impairment.

Marijuana use is hardly ever a material factor in cases involving physical impairments, but the agency can view it as an exacerbating factor in mental health cases.

The best way to address this is still receive a medical marijuana prescription from your physician as evidence that it is not material to your claim.

As for recreational use, administrative law judges in Illinois still seem to be working though exactly how to handle it, but the basic law remains the same. If a judge views your marijuana use as exacerbating your impairments, this will very likely be used as the basis to deny your claim, even if you live in a state where recreational use is legal.

Contact Us To Get Started

Contact us online or call our offices directly at 888-351-0427 for a free case evaluation. All cases are taken on contingency, meaning there are no fees until we recover benefits for you.

Contact Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.


Midwest Disability, P.A.
408 Northdale Boulevard Northwest
Coon Rapids, MN 55448

Coon Rapids Law Office Map