On Demand Audio

Drug Addiction and Alcoholism ("DAA") Cases in Social Security Disability and SSI: Law and Practice Tips for Helping an Underserved Population

(415 reviews)

Produced on October 10, 2017

Taught by
$ 99 Disability & Social Security and Public Interest In Stock
Get started now

$299 / year - Access to this Course and 1,500+ Lawline courses


Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

The Government Accounting Office estimates that 60% of individuals with substance use disorders who are eligible to collect Social Security Disability/SSI Benefits never apply. This program, led by attorney Maryjean Ellis, provides a toolkit to help this subset of potential claimants with mental disorders, often stigmatized and misunderstood. 

The program includes a brief overview of the basics of the Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income programs, including individuals’ insurance status, and the Five-Step Sequential Analysis by which all claims are processed. It also highlights the ways in which the Social Security Administration (SSA) treats DAA differently than any other Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI). Lastly, the program discusses Mental Disorders medical listings, the determination of residual functional capacity, and recent SSA rule changes.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Recognize that individuals with DAA can be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits
  2. Grasp the basic considerations you should know regarding Social Security Disability/SSI in order to place the DAA materials in proper context
  3. Appreciate SSA’s historical consideration of mental disorders and substance use disorders. Develop sensitivity to the role that stigma of substance use disorders has influenced SSA’s treatment of this subset of individuals with mental impairments
  4. Attain familiarity with the new Mental Disorder listings, to be used in Step 3
  5. Explore techniques for the thorough development of any and all limitations (mental and physical) for the determination of Residual Functional Capacity
  6. Review  SSR 13-2p and how to properly apply the 5-Step Sequential Evaluation in cases involving DAA
  7. Guard against recently enacted procedural traps for the unwary: including the “all evidence” rule, “5-day” rule, and medical evidence rule
  8. Gain confidence in taking on winnable SSD/SSI cases that other firms reject

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Maryjean Ellis

Law Office of Maryjean Ellis, LLC

Maryjean Ellis graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey, in 1996. She is licensed to practice in New Jersey state courts, the Federal District Court of New Jersey, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Maryjean practiced in a variety of settings before 2005, when she established her law office in Northern New Jersey to represent individuals who are unable to work due to illness or injury. She focuses on Social Security Disability/SSI and New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law.

Maryjean is a Sustaining Member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR). She participated in the Justice James Coleman Workers’ Compensation Inn of Court and the Arthur T. Vanderbilt Inn of Court. She is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the Sussex County Bar Association, where she presented continuing legal education on Public Disability Benefits.

She has offered educational programs concerning Social Security Disability/SSI to the Scleroderma Foundation support group, St. Clare’s Health System Intensive Family Support Services, and the Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain Support Group of Sussex County. Maryjean was appointed to the Sussex County (New Jersey) Mental Health & Substance Use Board, which provides public leadership to the county in the development of mental health and substance use resources.

Maryjean is passionate about advocating on behalf of individuals who are hurting, financially struggling, and in need of medical treatment and other services. She strives to provide Lawline members with the law and practical strategies needed to support the disabled in their communities. 


Erin B.

Thanks! Very sensitive and detailed presentation. Great job!

Ann B.

really great knowledgeable presenter

Gary S.

I found this CLE to be most useful in an active case I have. Thanks.

Jane H.

Very Helpful!

Michael M.


Shelley M.

I have a personal interest in knowing more about DAA as it pertains to SSI, so the program was informative and timely.

Lisa F.

Interesting program.

Corey E.

Thank you

Georgian P.

Very interesting presentation! Speaker knowledgeable and informative!

Frank R.

Very informative and knowledgeable presenter.

Joel F.

well done

Load More