BASIC (04-13)

DI 90070.041 Evaluating Cases Involving Drug Addiction and Alcoholism (DAA) SSR 13-2p


SSR 13-2p

A. Background of the publication of SSR 13-2p

SSA published SSR 13-2p, “Evaluating Cases Involving Drug Addiction and Alcoholism (DAA)” on February 20, 2013, which was effective on March 22, 2013. This SSR explains our policies for how we consider whether “drug addiction and alcoholism”(DAA) is a contributing factor material to our determination of disability in disability claims and continuing disability reviews. In this SSR, we consolidate information from a variety of sources to explain our DAA policy. We include information from our regulations, training materials, and question-and-answer (Q&A) responses.

B. Policy interpretation sections of SSR 13-2p

The SSR has a short general policy interpretation section, followed by other sections presented in a Question and Answer format.

  1. How do we define the term “DAA”?

  2. What is our DAA policy?

  3. When do we make a DAA materiality determination?

  4. How do we determine whether a claimant has DAA?

  5. How do we determine materiality?

  6. What do we do if the claimant’s other physical impairment(s) improve to the point of nondisability in the absence of DAA?

  7. What do we do if the claimant’s co-occurring mental disorder(s) improve in the absence of DAA?

  8. What evidence do we need in cases involving DAA?

  9. How do we consider periods of abstinence?

  10. How do we evaluate a claimant’s credibility in cases involving DAA?

  11. How do we establish onset in DAA cases?

  12. Can failure to follow prescribed treatment be an issue in DAA cases?

  13. Who is responsible for determining materiality?

  14. What explanation does the determination or decision need to contain?

  15. How should adjudicators consider Federal district and circuit court decisions about DAA?

NOTE: SSR 96-7p, “Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Symptoms in Disability Claims: Assessing the Credibility of an Individual’s Statements” has been replaced with SSR 16-3p, “Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Symptoms in Disability Claims.” Effective 3/28/16, we no longer use the term “credibility” when evaluating symptoms.

C. References related to evaluating DAA claims