Should Addicts be Eligible for Disability Benefits

This is a question that has come up time and time again for dispute, and one that not everyone really altogether understands either.  Should drug and alcohol addicts be eligible for disability benefits?  The following paragraph was quoted from a legal attorney’s blog on the subject, and it gives the real data on what exactly does or does not constitute as a disability:

  • “Although drug addiction often substantially impairs a person’s ability to work, an applicant will not be approved for disability on the basis of the drug addiction alone. Even though the effects of substance abuse may prevent an individual from maintaining regular employment, Social Security does not consider substance abuse to be disabling until it causes other irreversible medical conditions. However, this does not mean that you cannot win approval for a physical or mental condition that was caused by a drug addiction. The Social Security Administration (SSA) begins all reviews of claims for disability in the same manner, regardless of the alleged impairment or its cause.”

So, that is the way it is right now.  But should it be that way?  Should addicts be eligible for disability benefits following under the above situations if they are abusing drugs and alcohol?  What is the moral and ethical route to be taken here?

Why Drug and Alcohol Addicts Should NOT be Eligible for Disability Benefits

If a person were to approach you on the street and ask you for money, what would you say?  I would ask the person, “What do you need the money for?”  If the person were to say, “I need money to go buy drugs and alcohol,” would you give them money?  I highly doubt it.  So if that’s how you feel about giving an addict cash money for them to then go buy drugs with, then you should not approve of addicts being able to get any kind of disability benefits, and here’s why:

  • Giving addicts money through disability enables them.  It allows them to continue to have cash on hand to go buy drugs and alcohol and allows them to continue pursuing their addictions.
  • Allowing drug and alcohol addicts to collect disability pushed them further away from them hitting rock bottom, which they need to do if they’re ever going to stop abusing drugs and alcohol.  It gives them a steady stream and cash flow that they can continue to use to buy drugs and alcohol.  It allows them to stay comfortable and relaxed about their substance abuse.  They never run out of money, and they never hit rock bottom.
  • Disability payment to drug addicts is a social program, and with eighty-million Americans on some form of social program and seventeen-trillion dollars in debt, can we as a nation really afford to pay people to abuse drugs and alcohol?  Because that is what we are doing.

An Alternative to Giving Drug Addicts Disability Money

Here’s a better idea.  Completely deny addicts disability pay.  Even if they have a medical condition that they got because of abusing drugs and alcohol.  In fact, if a person has any current connection to drug and alcohol abuse or addiction, just completely disbar them from any kind of disability or government cash flow program.  Then, take that cash that would be enabling addicts to buy drugs and alcohol and instead flow it into creating government-funded, low cost or free addiction treatment programs.  With no money and no cash flow from the Fed, addicts will be looking to alternatives, and when they start feeling withdrawal effects a rehab will suddenly look like a very appealing option.  This option is excellent too because it really handles the problem at its root source.