Changing Social Security Disability Rules with Regard to Addiction

Mar 18, 2013, 09:00 ET from Cliffside Malibu

MALIBU, Calif., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Social Security Ruling (SSR) 13-2p, which becomes effective on March 22, 2013, provides new explanations "concerning how it considers whether 'drug addiction and alcoholism' (DAA) is material to its determination of disability in disability claims and continuing disability reviews." This ruling replaces several previous rulings on the matter. The question for those who determine disability benefits is whether or not a disability would exist in the absence of an individual's drug or alcohol addiction.

"The questions posed by the Social Security arbiters are good ones to ask," says Richard Taite, CEO of the Cliffside Malibu addiction treatment center. "In many cases, permanent disability is zero once you alleviate the alcoholism and addiction. Even in more complex cases with challenging co-occurring disorders, I have yet to see an instance wherein alleviating the issue of addiction did not greatly diminish one's permanent disability, and in some cases, no permanent disability exists."

"The key to reducing disability claims and promoting greater health is providing quality treatment," said Dr. Damon Raskin, a physician and addiction recovery specialist with Cliffside Malibu. "What we know about addiction is that the majority of its effects are reversible. Similarly, we know that a great number of mental health disorders are exacerbated by an individual's drug use, though that drug use, at least initially, is frequently an effort at self-medication. If we can help a person remove drugs and alcohol from the medical equation, we can get a much better idea of what other mental health issues are presenting and provide treatment. By adding whole health therapies as part of the addiction recovery program, we are often able to improve the disabling condition along with addiction."

The book Ending Addiction for Good, coauthored by Taite, was written to help employers learn the latest methods for treating addiction effectively. Taite also consults, free of charge, with human resources professionals to help them understand addiction treatment options for employees.

About Cliffside Malibu:

Cliffside Malibu offers top-notch care in a private setting with a multitude of treatment options focusing on whole health. Cliffside boasts a record of helping people overcome their addictions and get back to work. For information about Cliffside Malibu's effective treatments and intervention services, please visit or call 1-800-501-1988, 24 hours a day.

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