Is antisocial personality disorder a disability? Get the answers here and learn more about treatment for antisocial personality disorder.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition, (DSM-V), antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of other people that begins in childhood or early adolescence. Some common symptoms associated with an ASPD include:

  • Violence
  • Deceitfulness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Irresponsibility
  • Bullying
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Disregard for the safety of others
  • A general lack of concern
  • Inability to be empathetic

In addition to behavioral problems, people living with ASPD may also get in trouble with the law and develop substance use disorders. Co-occurring mental health conditions like depression, anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also develop in addition to ASPD.

Defining a Disability and How to Obtain Benefits

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disability is a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. To qualify for disability assistance someone must have worked a job that was covered by social security and have a condition that is considered a disability by the ADA.

It’s not common for someone to receive disability benefits for ASPD but it is possible. Someone must be diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder that has shown symptoms for more than a year to be considered for assistance. There are two ways someone living with ASPD can qualify for supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. The first option is that someone with ASPD may meet the criteria in the listing of impairments for a personality disorder.

To meet the qualifications someone with ASPD must be diagnosed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist and medical records must show that the patient has long-term personality symptoms that indicate that they face challenges managing their daily life. Symptoms that someone must meet to be considered for SSI benefits include:

  • Detached from social relationships
  • Suspiciousness or distrust of others
  • Unstable relationships
  • Violation of the rights of others
  • Attention seeking
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Impulsive or aggressive behavior

If the disorder symptoms do not meet the listing of impairments, the SSA will then determine if someone’s ASPD causes functional limitations. To receive disability benefits, the patient must show restriction in functionality in two or more areas or severe limitations in one area. The areas of functioning include the ability to:

  • Obtain and use information
  • Focus on and finish tasks
  • Relate to others
  • Physically move their body around and handle objects
  • Perform personal care

Getting Help

Because ASPD isn’t often regarded as a disability, people don’t usually receive disability benefits because of it. While ASPD can disrupt someone’s life and make daily functions difficult, the best option to learn how to manage the disorder is to seek treatment. An antisocial personality disorder can cause additional disorders to develop like depression and addiction, so it’s important to learn coping mechanisms before someone living with ASPD looks for alternative ways to cope.

If you or someone you know struggles with substance use and co-occurring disorders like ASPD, help is available. At The Recovery Village, a team of professionals provides several treatment programs for substance use and co-occurring disorders. Call and speak with a representative to learn more about what treatment could work for you.


Social Security Administration. “Disability Evaluation Under Social Secur[…]ting Of Impairments.” (n.d.) Accessed February 20, 2019.

ADA National Network. “What is the definition of disability under the ADA?” (n.d.) Accessed February 20, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.