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Can I Receive Benefits for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Under ERISA?

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Can I Receive Benefits for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Under ERISA?

Can I Receive Benefits for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Under ERISA?

Struggling with a substance use disorder or mental disorder is not easy for anyone to go through. Despite seeking treatment, you may find yourself on an uphill battle with significant distress, pain, and exhaustion. Almost any mental disorder can start affecting your ability to work for an income when the symptoms are severe enough. Knowing your rights to disability benefits under ERISA is vital for ensuring you receive the help you need to manage your finances. Talk to a Delaware disability lawyer if you have questions or have been denied disability benefits.


Figuring out whether you might qualify for financial benefits under ERISA or long-term disability benefits when you are struggling with substance abuse or a mental disorder can be difficult. These types of mental conditions are not only harder to prove but come in a variety of forms, symptoms, and severity levels. This can make finding evidence of your mental condition difficult.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers long-term disability benefits to people with mental conditions that are listed in their Blue Book. The mental disorders listed in this Blue Book include:

  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Certain personality disorders and impulsive disordersCan I Receive Benefits for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Under ERISA?
  • Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Somatic disorders
  • Depression and bipolar disorders
  • Schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Forms of autism
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma disorders

If your disorder is not listed, you might still be able to qualify if your condition is diagnosable and significant enough to hinder your work performance. The two main options for benefits are through the SSA and private disability insurance companies. Going through the SSA requires you to submit evidence that proves how your substance use or mental disorder prevents you from working. 


Mental and substance use disorders can impact work performance in a variety of ways. In some cases, you may be struggling with a substance use disorder and a mental disorder at the same time. Many cases of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and personality disorders are common with substance abuse or dependence.

Substance dependence alone can make working a job difficult when you have to deal with major withdrawal symptoms like seizures, cravings, shaking, headaches, fatigue, and other discomforting symptoms. Some cases of substance use disorder can involve life-threatening symptoms that require professional medical treatment. However, you may not be eligible for disability insurance if your substance use breaks certain requirements. Talk with a Delaware disability lawyer to find out more.

Mental disorders can affect jobs in different ways depending on the type. Your mental condition may prevent you from performing certain tasks, remembering essential skills, or working around others. Psychosis can be dangerously distracting for labor workers with the onset of hallucinations.


Filing for disability benefits for a substance use or mental disorder is often a tedious process. An experienced Disability benefits lawyer in Delaware can help you collect the information and evidence you need for your application. Contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson today at (302) 295-5050 for a free consultation. You can find our legal team of disability insurance lawyers in Wilmington, Delaware.

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