Social Security Benefits Essay

1307 Words Oct 7th, 2012 6 Pages
Can alcoholics and drug addicts really get Social Security disability benefits?

Not anymore. There never were all that many people getting Social Security disability benefits on account of alcoholism or drug addiction, but Congress has now prohibited Social Security from paying disability benefits on the basis of alcoholism or drug addiction. However, alcoholics and drug addicts have heart attacks, get cancer or get sick in other ways just like everyone else. Alcoholics and drug addicts who become disabled apart from their alcoholism or drug addiction can become eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Abstract Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program of the
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Problem severities in these latter two areas were found to be consistently high across several subgroupings of recipients, including those who reported no alcohol or drug use in the prior 30 days. These findings suggest that SSI DA&A recipients are often significantly impaired beyond their alcohol and drug use (McKay). For a brief period in our nation's history, drug abusers and alcoholics could receive disability cash assistance and free medical coverage from the federal government by proving that their addiction was severe enough to disable them from holding any job. From 1972 until 1994, addicts could, with certain qualifications, receive benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance ("SSDI") or its sister program, Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"). These programs provided not only a nominal amount of monthly cash assistance, but also medical coverage through Medicaid, with which recipients could pay for drug treatment programs. The cases were eventually tagged "DA&A," which alternatively stood for "Drug Abusers and Alcoholics" (referring to the claimants themselves) or "Drug Addiction and Alcoholism" (representing the underlying impairment of the claim).

As one might expect, this aspect of the nation's welfare program was controversial. The recession of the early 1990s, among other factors, caused the welfare rolls to swell inordinately. The increased welfare rolls generated more public

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