If you’ve suffered from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or you know someone who has, then you already know the devastating effect it can have on your ability to live a full, normal life. Because of addiction, many people find it difficult to hold down a full-time job. In this situation, you might be wondering if a program like Social Security Disability (SSDI) could help you. You might be wondering, are there disability benefits for drug addicts?

Disability Benefits for Alcoholics and Drug Addicts

In short, the answer to this question is no. While there are benefits available for a great many things, an addiction problem like drugs or alcohol is currently not covered. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no hope. While the addiction itself might not be covered – even though it has severely impacted your life – it’s possible that there are physical or mental side effects to your addiction that are, in fact, covered.

It is well-known that chronic drug use can cause damage to your mind and body. Even if you are finally able to break the addiction, these impairments might never go away. It’s these conditions that SSDI might still be able to cover. While the SSA no longer carries a specific list of drug-related conditions that qualify, you can still apply for SSDI benefits if you can show you suffer from any of these long-term conditions. This list of conditions includes, but is not limited to, brain damage, liver damage, gastritis, pancreatitis, peripheral neuropathy, seizures, depression, anxiety disorder, or personality disorder.

To be considered eligible, however, the same conditions apply as for anyone applying to receive benefits. You must first be able to prove that you suffer from this condition. This is done through the submission of medical records and documents. You must also be able to show that this is a long-term condition (lasting for at least 12 months) and that it has severely impacted your ability to work or make money – in fact, your income can not exceed the limit of $1,170 per month.

This information is crucial if you are going to build your case, and it is vital that you keep thorough and complete records. Once you have them, you file your claim like everyone else and wait for an answer.

So, while there might not be specific disability benefits for drug addicts, you can still qualify for SSDI payments under certain conditions. If you would like to know more, please contact us today.


Mental Illness and Disability Benefits

by Clauson on November 6, 2017

There are many different conditions that qualify for SSI disability benefits. Many times people may think of physical conditions first, but mental illnesses can be just as, if not more, debilitating. There are a variety of mental illnesses that are covered and qualify for SSI disability benefits. It’s important to know which of these qualify and how to go about proving that yours does as well.

Mental Illness and Disability Benefits

When evaluating your condition, whether it is mental or physical, it is imperative to consult the listings on the ssa.gov website. This lists many of the conditions that will qualify. If yours is not listed, you may still qualify, but you will need to prove that your condition is as debilitating as others that are listed. In terms of mental disorders, there are 11 different categories.

What mental illnesses qualify for disability benefits?

  • Neurocognitive disorders.
  • Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders.
  • Depressive, bipolar and related disorders.
  • Intellectual disorder.
  • Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
  • Somatic symptom and related disorders.
  • Personality and impulse-control disorders.
  • Autism spectrum disorder.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders.

How to prove that your condition qualifies:

  • Duration of condition.
    In order for your condition to qualify, it needs to be expected to last for at least a year or result in death.
  • Qualifying condition.
    Your condition must be one of the ones listed or be of equal severity.
  • Severity of condition.
    Your condition needs to be severe according to Social Security Administration standards.
  • Affect of condition on ability to work.
    Your condition needs to prevent you from being able to work. This is the main point of qualifying for SSI disability and collecting benefits. It has to be because you’re unable to work and provide for your own living.
  • Medical evidence.
    In order to prove the points above, you need to have medical evidence to back them up. It’s imperative to be organized in your documentation. You will need to provide information on the health facilities you’ve visited, your official diagnosis, treatments and medications you’ve tried and dates of visits. You should also obtain a statement from your doctor about your condition as well as provide one from yourself that states why your condition prevents you from working.

Many mental illnesses qualify for SSI disability, but it’s important to understand the process. If you have any questions, please contact us.


Millions of Americans depend on money from the Social Security system to help make ends meet from month to month. Whether it’s collecting retirement money after a life of paying into the system, or collecting money for disability after an accident or illness made working impossible, that money is essential for living. In the next twenty years, more and more Americans will be depending on the SSA for their income needs. But what will happen over the course of those twenty years? Can Americans today expect the same level of benefits two decades down the road? As you can probably expect, the answer to that isn’t easy.

Social Security Look Like in 20 Years

As things stand right now, Social Security is in danger. While there is plenty of money now, and even a little bit of a surplus, recent changes mean that the surplus will slowly start to run out. If recent projections hold out, then the surplus of money in the Social Security fund will run out in 2034. At that time, there could be an issue.

Social Security was originally designed to take in as much money as it pays out. Over the years, though, the program has stretched to the point where this isn’t true. So, when the existing surplus finally runs out in 2034, Social Security will not be able to bring in enough money to completely fund itself. Current projections estimate that the SSA will only be able to bring in about 79% of the money that it needs to pay out to retirees, the disabled and other beneficiaries.

This is where it gets complicated. Because this possibility is still almost twenty years in the future, nothing about it is truly certain. As that deadline appears, who knows what sort of measures might be enacted by the government to fix the issue? Because of that, everything is uncertain. However, without those changes, it’s very possible that beneficiaries will see their payments cut by as much as 21%. In addition, the retirement age could be increased, making it take longer for people to start collecting their benefits. Or, the scope of Social Security could be lessened to stop as many different types of payments from going into effect.

Basically, as it stands right now, the SSA faces a potential problem. While there is plenty of time for the government to fix the issue, the real question is, will they? Or will they let this issue drag on to the point where it’s too late to do anything about it?


When Do Most Americans Claim Social Security?

by Clauson on October 25, 2017

Every year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) increases the full retirement age at which you can collect benefits. This began several years ago to help the beleaguered benefit system. In 2018, the age will increase by two months to age 66 and four months. SSA bases it on your birth year, so the 2018 adjustment affects people born in 1956 and later—and there are a lot of them.

The vast number of baby boomers who are retiring creates a financial challenge for the SSA, but so is the fact that most Americans are electing to claim SSA retirement benefits before reaching the full retirement age. Over 60 percent of men are and nearly 75 percent of women are, too. No one is claiming benefits late, either. If they don’t claim early, they’re claiming benefits at the exact retirement age possible.

One of the main reasons that people are claiming benefits early is because the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) hasn’t kept up with rising inflation. In 2018, seniors are expected to get the largest COLA adjustment they’ve seen in years, but it is still not enough to keep up with rising costs, particularly in health care. While any increase is welcome, seniors will never be able to catch up on COLA increases alone. They’re on fixed incomes, and that’s why people are opting in for early retirement benefits.

Your overall SSA retirement benefit is based on your lifetime earnings. SSA applies a formula for inflation and then determines your primary payout amount that you’ll receive at the full retirement age. Just know that SSA offers an eight year window from age 62 to 70 for claims. Claiming early comes with fairly strict penalties. Let’s say your age is 67 for the full benefit, but you claim early at age 62. The compounded effect is that your benefits are reduced by 30 percent. While an early claim can get you short-term cash, the long-term reduction in your overall retirement income can have a significant impact.

It’s even better if you can claim your benefit late, after you’ve reached full retirement age. This can mean an eight percent permanent increase in your income.

Every individual is different, and has reasons for claiming early or late. Just consider where you are in life and work out the pros and cons of claiming early, on time or late.


Social Security in Five Years

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