Can Adults Receive Disability Benefits For ADHD?

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition suffered by children, teens, and even adults. Children suffering from ADHD may have uncontrollable impulses or difficulty paying attention in school. Adults suffering from ADHD typically have trouble managing time, staying organized, setting goals, and remaining employed. Further, adults with ADHD have relationship, self-esteem, and addiction problems.

Although ADHD is most commonly associated with children, ADHD may also continue into adulthood.

Symptoms of ADHD in Adults are as follows:

  • Impulsivity
  • Anger management issues
  • Sever emotional swings
  • Depression
  • Relationship problems
  • Trouble concentrating and reading
  • Lack of attentiveness
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Substance abuse/addiction problems
  • Chronic boredom
  • Sleep problems
  • Work-related issues

Approximately 4% of all adults are believed to have ADHD, although many go undiagnosed with the mental condition. Historically, adults with ADHD were not eligible to receive disability benefits through social security. Today, however, adults with symptoms of ADHD that are considered “disabling” may be eligible to receive social security disability benefits from the federal government.

What is Disabling ADHD?

For adults with some of the symptoms of ADHD listed above, this mental condition can result in severe employment difficulties and emotional problems. Typically, ADHD symptoms are not new; many adults living with ADHD suffered from the condition in grade school. Therefore, adults with ADHD typically are not as successful in their careers as the general population. Because of the difficulty of learning with ADHD, many adults even failed to graduate from high school because of their academic suffering.

With this limitation in academia and work related problems, adults living with severe ADHD need help from somewhere. Disability benefits through social security allow these individuals to continue earning at least a small source of income.

Qualifying For Disabling ADHD

Although there is no diagnostic exam for adults living with ADHD, this mental condition can be diagnosed by a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist. Typically, medical personnel diagnose someone with ADHD after they exhibit multiple symptoms over an elongated period of time. Inattention and hyperactivity are the two base symptoms for diagnosing ADHD.

An official ADHD diagnosis follows after multiple interviews with the patient – Typically, doctors like to rule out other physical conditions before jumping to the conclusion of ADHD, just in case. After a diagnosis of ADHD, in order to qualify for social security disability benefits, an applicant must prove that he or she is unable to sustain any type of work or employment.

The Social security Administration is not necessarily concerned with an official diagnosis of ADHD and where it comes from, but rather the functionality point of your mental condition, which in other words means how your disability affects your everyday functioning. If you are living with ADHD and are completely unable to work because of your condition, then you are more likely to receive disability benefits. However, if you are diagnosed as having ADHD but the symptoms do not affect how you perform your work, then you will most likely not be eligible for benefits.

Section 112.11 of the social security disability evaluation code covers ADHD. Although this is under childhood disorders, when the Social Security Administration assesses an applicant, it is important that an applicant satisfy these requirements:

112.11 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Manifested by developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.

The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied.

A. Medically documented findings of all three of the following:
1. Marked inattention; and
2. Marked impulsiveness; and
3. Marked hyperactivity;

B. For older infants and toddlers (age 1 to attainment of age 3), resulting in at least one of the appropriate age-group criteria in paragraph B1 of 112.02; or, for children (age 3 to attainment of age 18), resulting in at least two of the appropriate age-group criteria in paragraph B2 of 112.02.

If the Social Security Administration determines that your ADHD condition is severe, then it will administer a mental residual capacity assessment, which will show what level of work you can perform. The social security administration then uses the information from the assessment to determine if you are able to work. If the Social Security Administration determines that you are unable to perform everyday functions and your residual capacity assessment comes back with an “unable to work” assessment, then you are eligible for social security disability benefits.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits as a Result of Disabling ADHD?

The Social Security Administration will want to have written documentation of your symptoms from any medical personnel. Employment letters, psychological exams, treatment methods, and academic records may all be useful. Having significant documented limitations will increase the chance that your benefits application is approved.

Individuals can apply for disability with adult ADHD by contacting the Social Security administration or by visiting your local administration office.

For more than 20 years Fayetteville AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law has worked to secure benefits for the people who need it most. If you or a loved one has a medical condition and cannot work, it is important to speak to a disability attorney about benefits. You can arrange for a free legal consultation by calling (479) 251-7767 or contact us online.

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