Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 337–350 | Cite as

Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Disability Insurance (DI), and Substance Abusers

  • Carole Roan Gresenz
  • Katherine Watkins
  • Deborah Podus


Federal legislation repealed SupplementalSecurity Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance (DI) foralcohol and drug abusers as of January 1997. Thisarticle outlines the context in which the legislation was passed and summarizes concerns resultingfrom the legislation. We discuss the effects of thelegislation on treatment participation, financing, andavailability, and the legislation's impact onindividuals with dual mental health and substance abuseproblems. We also consider the individual and societalimplications of substance abusers' loss of monthlyincome and health insurance.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barber, S. L. (1996). Supplemental Security Income Recipients for Whom the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Provisions Apply (DA&A Recipients), December 1995. Office of Program Benefits Policy, Social Security Administration.Google Scholar
  2. Campbell, K., Krupski, A., & Peterson, P. (1996). Evaluation findings for the Washington state SSI managed care project. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  3. Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. (1993). The Cost of Substance Abuse to America’s Health Care System, Report 1: Medicaid Hospital Costs. New York, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  4. Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. (1994). The Cost of Substance Abuse to America’s Health Care System, Report 2: Medicare Hospital Costs. New York, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, W. S. (1994). Tax Dollars Aiding and Abetting Addiction: Social Security Disability and SSI Cash Benefits to Drug Addicts and Alcoholics. Investigative Staff Report of the Minority Staff of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.Google Scholar
  6. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. (1994a). Requirements for Drug Addicts and Alcoholics on SSI, OEI-02-94-00110.Google Scholar
  7. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. (1994b). SSI Payments to Drug Addicts and Alcoholics: Continued Dependence. OEI-09-94-007.Google Scholar
  8. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. (1994c). Demographics of Beneficiaries with Representative Payees: SSI Drug Addicts and Alcoholics. OEI-09-92-00857.Google Scholar
  9. Eisenberg, J. M. (1989). Clinical economics: A guide to the economic analysis of clinical practices. Journal of the American Psychiatric Association, 262(20), 2879–2886.Google Scholar
  10. Harwood, H. J. (1989). Costs and benefits of drug abuse treatment, Hubbard, R. L. et al, (eds.), Drug Abuse Treatment: A National Study of Effectiveness. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  11. Katz, N. J. (1994, February 10). Statement before the Subcommittees on Social Security and Human Resources of the House Committee on Ways and Means. Hearing on Exploring Means of Achieving Higher Rates of Treatment and Rehabilitation Among Alcoholics and Drug Addicts Receiving Federal Disability Benefits. 103rd Congress, 2nd Session.Google Scholar
  12. Marriot, M. (1990, January 10). For addicts, a long scary wait for treatment. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  13. McKay, J. R., McLellan, A. T., Durell, J., Ruetsch, C., & Alterman. A. (1996). Initial report on characteristics of recipients of SSI benefits for drug addicts and alcoholics. Draft, University of Pennsylvania and Treatment Research Institute.Google Scholar
  14. National Opinion Research Center and Lewin-VHI, Inc. (1994). Evaluating Recovery Services: The California Drug and Alcohol Treatment Assessment (CALDATA), General Report. Submitted to the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, State of California.Google Scholar
  15. Oregon Department of Human Resources, Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, and Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs. (1996). Societal Outcomes & Cost Savings of Drug & Alcohol Treatment in the State of Oregon.Google Scholar
  16. Rice, D. P. & Kelman, D. (1989). Measuring co-morbidity and overlap in the hospitalization cost for alcohol and drug abuse and mental illness. Inquiry, 26, 249–260.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Rupp, K. & Stapleton, D. (1995). Determinants of the growth in the social security administration’s disability programs— an overview. Social Security Bulletin, 58(4), 43–70.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Shaner, A., Eckman, T. A., Roberts, L. J., Wilkins, J. N., Tucker, D. E., Tsuang, J. W, & Mintz, J. (1995). Disability income, cocaine use and repeated hospitalization among schizophrenic cocaine abusers: A government sponsored revolving door?" New England Journal of Medicine, 333, 777–783.Google Scholar
  19. Social Security Administration. (1995). Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. SSA Publication No. 64-039, Washington, DC, U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  20. Supplement to the American Journal of Psychiatry, (1995), Washington, DC; American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 52(11).Google Scholar
  21. US General Accounting Office. (1994). Social Security: Major Changes Needed for Disability Benefits for Addicts. GAO/HEHS-94-128.Google Scholar
  22. Wooton, S. (1990, April 29). Putting addicts on hold: In Maryland, treatment is elusive, brief, often ineffective. Baltimore Sun.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carole Roan Gresenz
  • Katherine Watkins
  • Deborah Podus

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations