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

by Carole Roan Gresenz, Katharine Watkins Webb, Deborah Podus


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Federal legislation repealed Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance (DI) for alcohol and drug abusers as of January 1997. This article outlines the context in which the legislation was passed and summarizes concerns resulting from the legislation. The authors discuss the effects of the legislation on treatment participation, financing, and availability, and the legislation’s impact on individuals with dual mental health and substance abuse problems. They also consider the individual and societal implications of substance abusers’ loss of monthly income and health insurance.

Originally published in: Community Mental Health Journal, v. 34, no. 4, August 1998, pp. 337-350.

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