Justice Suboxoned: From subsistence to sustenance

Our client was living in her car in Burlington County, NJ. She needed help appealing the denial of her application for Social Security disability benefits. In addition to living with HIV, she had a history of trauma and opioid dependence.

She found her way to a daily suboxone program, which is a medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. As part of the suboxone program, she also began to attend group therapy and individual therapy. She was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, neuropathy, and PTSD.  She began to take her medication. She secured transitional housing and her life began to change. 

We represented her at the Social Security disability hearing. The judge found that due to her need for the suboxone program and therapy, our client would be off task 15% of the time and miss two days a month from the workplace. The vocational expert at the hearing testified that the kind of jobs that would be suitable for our client would not tolerate regular monthly absences. Based on the evidence that there are no jobs suitable for her in the national economy, the judge awarded her disability benefits. With reliable monthly income, she can now look for permanent housing.

Harm reduction services have turned this client’s life around. She has gone from struggling to succeeding. A positive score in anyone’s book