Social Security Disability Benefits for Drug Addiction


is addiction a disability

Connect with a licensed therapist for porn addiction and mental health counseling. Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. If we consider a well-established disability such as blindness, it is known that being blind is atypical, relative to a person who is not blind. Society has been structured for those who are typical but recognizes the disadvantages that come with blindness. Accommodations are created to help alleviate these disadvantages, such as including braille on signs. This website utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times.

  • Don’t become a statistic when you claim individual or group long-term disability benefits during substance abuse treatment, because you need time to recover with peace of mind and your benefits.
  • The pace of the cases is picking up, with the government reaching agreements with or filing suit against institutions in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Colorado in recent months.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures people living with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
  • This medical condition is not likely to go away even if the person stopped drinking now.

While drug addiction and alcoholism are considered diseases, a person cannot receive disability benefits simply because of an addiction. If a person shows signs of a disability but would not be disabled if they stopped using substances, they will be denied disability benefits. To qualify for disability for any of these impairments, you’d have to fulfill the SSA’s requirements for the related listings. But if you’re still using drugs—even prescription drugs if you’re using more than your doctor prescribed—the SSA will definitely make a DAA determination to decide if your impairments would go away if you stopped using drugs. And you’d have a very steep uphill battle convincing the SSA that your depression, anxiety, seizures, or issues caused by a personality disorder wouldn’t go away if you stopped using drugs. In most cases, disability benefits are not provided for substance abuse alone but rather for the resulting health condition that causes disability.

Long-Term Disability Attorneys Helping Those Disabled by Addiction

Copyright ©2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. However, it is often difficult to identify the severity of depression and anxiety, especially if they can be treated with drugs or therapy and the abuser gets sober. However, anyone who is actively using drugs or alcohol, but qualifies for benefits, cannot receive those benefits directly.

People with an addiction are also more likely to become disabled, either through accidental injury or through long-term side effects of substance abuse. Yes, court cases (Pesce v Coppinger and Godsey v Sawyer) have found that the ADA requires correction programs (jails and prisons) to administer medications prescribed to treat substance use disorders. The correctional system must find a way to administer and monitor Suboxone in a way that doesn’t cause a security or safety risk.

Disability Is Sometimes Available for Drug-Related Damage and Other Impairments

The ADA also requires that when a person with a disability asks for a modification of policies or the way the program operates, that modification must be considered. A Booklet for Families

Created for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems. Answers questions about substance abuse, its symptoms, different types of treatment, eco sober house cost and recovery. Americans struggling with drug or alcohol addiction don’t become addicts overnight. People often abuse alcohol and prescription drugs because they’re legally obtainable. However, the Social Security Administration will only consider you disabled if your drug addiction is not a relevant contributing factor to your disabling condition.

is addiction a disability

Rachael Rollins, who was sworn in as the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts in January, told STAT that she intended to promote widely the work that the office has been doing in this area. Attorneys have done presentations for a trade group representing nursing facilities about ADA protections, and Rollins said she hopes to do trainings with medical schools and associations. In one, a federal court in 2018 found that a Massachusetts jail’s refusal to allow a potential inmate to stay on methadone violated the ADA. (The judge also raised constitutional concerns.) And in 2019, a different federal court ruled similarly in a case involving a Maine jail’s ban on buprenorphine. In one study, researchers at Boston Medical Center found that the rate of discriminatory rejections by Massachusetts nursing facilities was the same after the first settlement in 2018 as it was before. But since then, as the government has continued to pursue such cases, “the settlements have led to growing recognition that this is something that can’t just be ignored,” said Simeon Kimmel, an addiction medicine and infectious diseases physician at BMC.

Is Drug Addiction a Disability?

Sofia is considered a person with a disability because she has anxiety, depression, and addiction to alcohol, which are mental impairments that substantially limit Sofia’s major life activity of caring for herself. She must be allowed to participate in the recovery program while she continues to take the Gabapentin. For example, if your employer has a policy that alcohol is not allowed on the premises, you could be disciplined for bringing alcohol on the premises.

Even with impairments that were caused by drug addiction, like hepatitis, substance use isn’t disqualifying if the disabling damage is already done. Before 1996, people with a drug or alcohol addiction could be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. However, Congress amended the law, and individuals can no longer receive disability benefits simply for having an addiction. You can still apply to receive disability benefits for health problems and injuries related to your addiction.

Orange County, California, is densely developed, home to nearly 3.2 million people—which makes it more populous than almost one-third of U.S. states. People who attend rehab typically need to take time off work, which is another situation covered by the ADA. According to the ADA, an employer would have to grant time off from work for treatment for certain employees if it does not create undue hardship for the employer. Diagnosing a Drug Addiction often starts with the addict, a family member, or friend who becomes concerned because of the symptoms of addiction. If you ask your doctor about the possibility of Drug Addiction, he or she will inquire about your use of the drug in question to see whether your responses match one or more of the symptoms of Drug Addiction.

SSA Eligibility Requirements for Disability Benefits

She served as a Wellness coordinator at Search for Change, Inc and currently serves as an Independent Practice Coach from 2011 to present. As the Family Nurse Practitioner, Deirdre performs history and physical exams, and works with clients to diagnose and treat dual diagnosis clients. Throughout that process, he learned the importance of helping others and living by spiritual principles.

While the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts led many of the first ADA addiction cases, others are stepping up the pace. It is not possible at this point in time to receive Social Security Disability benefits based solely on Drug Addiction. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not grant disability benefits to people with disabilities that have been caused or worsened by addiction. Express Corp., 133 F.3d 137 (1st Cir. 1998), the court held

that the employer was not required to provide a second leave of absence to

an employee for substance abuse treatment. The court noted, It is one

thing to say that further treatment made medical sense, and quite another to

say that the law required the company to retain [the employee] through a

succession of efforts.

Through her relentless pursuit of excellence, Sydney empowers individuals on their journey towards recovery, offering hope and healing to those in need. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, allowing addicted individuals to be classified as disabled, offers them, a number of protections from discrimination and other basic rights such as gaining employment, or being eligible for child custody. This goes further by protecting individuals who previously had a disability, i.e. someone who may have been addicted to drugs in the past but has since recovered. However, Sinkman said, this exception does not apply in cases where a person needs medical care. Thus, the ADA does in fact protect a range of treatment programs for people who are currently using drugs—contrary to the way the “current use” exception is often understood. Social Security generally won’t hold substance abuse or drug addiction against you if you can show that you’re disabled from another condition.

Americans owe billions in student loan debt. A financial reprieve helped many realize their dreams – CNN

Americans owe billions in student loan debt. A financial reprieve helped many realize their dreams.

Posted: Thu, 15 Jun 2023 15:07:00 GMT [source]

In some communities, for example, self-injection sites are available for individuals who use intravenously injected drugs. Once aware of an employee’s disability, the employer is legally obligated to make accommodations, unless it can demonstrate that the accommodation would cause undue hardship on the business. To determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation, the employer must engage with the employee in an interactive process to determine possible options. In reality, the question of whether an accommodation is reasonable depends on the circumstances and will vary depending on the specific employee’ s situation. In general, for a person to be eligible for disability benefits due to substance abuse, their substance abuse must be so severe that it makes them unable to work. Many stereotypes persist about addicts and their “choice” to continue using drugs, in part because of the seeming availability of treatment programs.

At the same time, a request for a reasonable accommodation may be denied if providing the accommodation is not reasonable. An accommodation is considered unreasonable if it would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on a housing provider or if it would fundamentally alter the nature of a housing provider’s operations. An applicant may argue that granting such an exception constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. As noted above, you may qualify for disability benefits even with a record of alcohol or drug abuse. This is a designated person who SSA appoints to receive your disability checks. For instance, an alcoholic person may develop a damaged liver after excessively abusing alcohol over a long period.

The contents of this factsheet do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Major life activities include, but aren’t limited to, walking, seeing, caring for oneself, learning, thinking, communicating, as well as the operation of bodily functions, such as neurological and brain functions.