When considering attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD) as a potential disability, the applicant is often a child. Parents or guardians will often notice impulsiveness, inattention, or hyperactivity symptoms from their children in a way that isn’t appropriate for their age. A psychiatric or mental health expert will formally offer a diagnosis after a complete evaluation.
Children with ADHD or ADD can qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits if the severity of the child’s ADHD meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) childhood impairment listing for neurodevelopmental disorders (Childhood Listing 112.11).
Requirements for Children with ADHD to Qualify Under the Neurodevelopmental Listing
In 2017, Social Security modified listing 112.11 from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to Neurodevelopmental Disorders to allow for more medical qualifications. The updated listing requires qualification as follows:
- hyperactive and impulsive behavior (such as difficulty remaining seated or waiting, appearing restless, or talking excessively), or
- frequent distractibility (with difficulty sustaining attention and difficulty organizing tasks), and
- recurrent motor movement or vocalization, and
- significant difficulties learning and using academic skills
The child’s ADHD or ADD will also have to cause severe functioning limitations. The child must have either an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a “marked” (severe) limitation in two of the following areas:
- concentrating on tasks
- interacting with others (cooperating with others, maintaining friendships, handling conflict)
- adapting or managing oneself (controlling one’s behavior, being aware of risks, setting goals, adapting to changes)
- learning, understanding, and remembering information
How to Document Potential ADHD Impairments
At a minimum, detailed medical evidence and psychological test results are crucial as they’ll demonstrate ADHD or ADD-related issues. While every case will be different, any formal diagnosis should be documented by a mental health professional.
School records and teachers’ observations can also help document the consistency or progression of impairments over time. Parental and familial observations can also help establish the case.
Even families with full documentation and legitimate cases still endure denials from the SSA. If you’re having difficulties receiving approval for disability with an ADD or ADHD case, it’s time to enlist the help of an experienced Social Security claims attorney. Call the team at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. today at (541) 434-6466 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.