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Can you get disability benefits for ADHD?

Yes, it is possible to receive disability benefits for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in some cases. However, it can be challenging to qualify for disability benefits based solely on an ADHD diagnosis.

To be eligible for disability benefits due to ADHD, you would generally need to demonstrate that your symptoms and impairments caused by ADHD are severe enough to limit your ability to perform day-to-day activities for at least 12 consecutive months or more. The limitations should be significant enough to prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity, which refers to work that earns above a certain threshold set by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

ADHD Disability Benefits

What is SSA’s definition of ADHD?

The SSA does not have a specific listing for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in its “Listing of Impairments.” The Listing of Impairments is the medical criteria the SSA sets to evaluate disability claims for various conditions.

Instead of having a specific listing for ADHD, the SSA evaluates ADHD under its broader standards for evaluating mental disorders. The SSA considers the functional limitations caused by ADHD and how they impact an individual’s ability to perform work-related activities. Here are some disabilities that often occur with ADHD:

Is ADHD a disability?

Yes, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be considered a developmental disability, particularly when it significantly impacts an individual’s ability to function in major life activities, including work, education, and social interactions. 

Simply having a diagnosis of ADHD or experiencing some level of impairment may not automatically qualify you for disability benefits. The severity and impact of the condition on your functional abilities and ability to work are crucial factors in the SSA’s evaluation.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

The symptoms of ADHD can be classified into three main categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, not all individuals with ADHD will experience the same symptoms, and the severity can vary.

Inattention symptoms:

  • Difficulty paying attention to details and making careless mistakes
  • Trouble sustaining focus and easily getting distracted
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoidance or dislike of tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Frequently losing or misplacing things needed for tasks
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities

Hyperactivity symptoms:

  • Excessive restlessness and difficulty staying seated.
  • Frequently running or climbing in inappropriate situations.
  • Difficulty engaging in leisure activities quietly.
  • Excessive talking and problems waiting for one’s turn.

Impulsivity symptoms:

  • Acting without thinking and blurting out answers.
  • Difficulty waiting for one’s turn in conversations or activities.
  • Interrupting or intruding on others’ conversations or activities.
  • Impulsive decision-making without considering the consequences.

Different Types of ADHD

There are three main types of ADHD, each characterized by specific patterns of symptoms. These types are:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation (formerly known as ADHD, predominantly inattentive type): Individuals with this type primarily exhibit symptoms of inattention. They may have difficulty sustaining attention, organization, following instructions, and completing tasks. 
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation (formerly known as ADHD, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type): Individuals with this type primarily exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. They may have difficulty sitting still, staying quiet, and controlling impulsive behaviors.
  • Combined Presentation (formerly known as ADHD, combined type): Individuals with this condition display symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity, which can lead to difficulties with attention, organization, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and other related symptoms.

SSA’s Eligibility Criteria for ADHD for Adults

The SSA considers the following factors:

  • Medical Evidence: The individual must provide medical evidence of an ADHD diagnosis from an acceptable medical source, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
  • Functional Limitations: The SSA evaluates the functional limitations caused by ADHD, including the ability to concentrate, stay focused, organize tasks, manage time, and adapt to changes in the work environment.
  • Impact on Work: The SSA considers the impact of ADHD on the individual’s ability to sustain work-related activities, maintain a regular work schedule, and complete tasks accurately and efficiently.

SSA’s criteria for ADHD for children

To qualify for disability benefits for a child with ADHD, they would need to meet the following requirements:

  • The child must have a medically determinable impairment (MDI) that meets the SSA’s definition of disability.
  • The impairment must result in marked and severe functional limitations, affecting the child’s ability to perform age-appropriate activities.
  • The child’s condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

When applying for disability benefits for a child with ADHD, it is essential to provide extensive medical evidence, including documentation of the child’s diagnosis, treatment history, functional limitations, and the impact of ADHD on their daily life.

Questions to ask yourself before you apply for ADHD disability

Before applying for ADHD disability benefits, it can be helpful to ask yourself the following questions to assess your eligibility and readiness:

  • How Does ADHD Impact My Daily Life and Functioning?
  • Have I Received a Formal Diagnosis?
  • What Medical Evidence Do I Have? 
  • How Are My Functional Limitations Documented? 
  • Can I Demonstrate Impairment in Work Activities?
  • Have I Exhausted Non-Disability Support Options? 
  • Am I Prepared for the Application Process?

What types of disability benefits must you apply for ADHD?

Suppose you have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and experience significant functional limitations that prevent you from working. In that case, you may be eligible to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. There are two main disability benefits programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is available to individuals who have paid Social Security taxes through their employment and have accumulated enough work credits. 
  • Supplemental Security Income: SSI for ADHD is a needs-based program for individuals with limited income and resources. It provides financial assistance to those who are disabled and have little or no work history.

I am eligible for ADHD. What next?

The next step is to apply for a disability. The application process for disability benefits based on Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder follows a general procedure.

  • Gather necessary information: Collect all relevant information and documents to support your ADHD disability claim.
  • Complete the application: Fill out the appropriate disability benefit application forms. For ADHD, you would typically complete the Adult Disability Report (for adults) or the Child Disability Report (for children) provided by the Social Security Administration. 
  • Medical evidence: Submit ample medical evidence to support your ADHD diagnosis.
  • Work history: Provide information about your work history, including job titles, responsibilities, and dates of employment.
  • Apply: Submit your completed application and supporting documents to the SSA. You can apply online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security office.

How much is the disability check for ADHD?

The ADHD disability check amount may vary based on an applicant’s work history and income. The maximum disability benefit for ADHD monthly, if you are eligible for SSDI, is $3,627. For SSI, the maximum disability check amount will be $914.

Was the disability claim rejected? Contact Chermol & Fishman, LLC.

If your ADHD disability claim was denied in Philadelphia, PA, don’t be discouraged. Remember, a rejection doesn’t automatically mean you’re ineligible for benefits. 

Consulting with experienced disability lawyers can make a significant difference in your case. They can guide, review your claim, gather additional evidence, and represent you during appeals. Call us at 888-774-7243 or schedule a free case evaluation for any questions about the appeal process. 

FAQs on ADHD

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