Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on April 4, 2022.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) classifies addiction as a disability, though the criteria for ADA protection depend on the substance and whether a person is still using it. The most significant distinction is that ADA protection applies to current or past alcohol misuse. People who have addictions to illicit drugs must be in recovery and no longer use illegal substances. These differences stem from alcohol's status as a legal substance, while opioids and other drugs are controlled substances.
The criteria for receiving benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs are more specific.
Individuals may receive these benefits based on conditions related to their addiction, but their claim can be denied if the Commissioner determines that drug or alcohol misuse caused the disability. You may still qualify for disability benefits if you would have had your disability without your addiction and will continue to have it despite no longer using drugs or alcohol.
The ADA's classification of addiction as a disability stems from drug and alcohol's ability to impact your brain and nervous system negatively. Similarly, the Social Security Administration (SSA) catalogs substance addiction disorder as a type of disability because of the potentially severe effects these substances can have on your mind and body. Essentially, a person applying for benefits under this category may receive financial support for disabilities their addiction directly causes.
You may receive benefits for disabilities caused by substance addiction disorder if your addiction has had physical and behavioral impacts affecting your central nervous system.
People with disabilities, including addiction, have rightful access to the same opportunities as others due to ADA protection. The ADA has three titles — Title I, II and III — that apply to people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. These guidelines ensure equity in employment, government and public services and public accommodation.
If you or a loved one is seeking treatment to recover from addiction, Diamond House Detox can help. We provide individualized care through in-patient treatment, aftercare plans and incidental medical services like medically assisted detox, injections and medication adjustments. To accommodate your unique needs, you'll have access to a diverse group of medical providers in a certified facility. Diamond House Detox also provides a healing, peaceful environment for you to recover.
Our programs are designed to help clients identify triggers and move forward with a life of sobriety. We specialize in co-occurring disorders and treating those focusing on substance use and mental health. Reach out to Diamond House Detox today to learn more about how we can help.