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How to Apply for Disability with ADHD as an Adult

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits based on behavioral disorders such as ADHD presents some unique challenges. The issue is further complicated for adults with ADHD because they face the responsibility of proving their ADHD prevents them from finding and maintaining meaningful employment even if they received Social Security Income benefits for ADHD as a child.

Unlike many physical disabilities, which can be diagnosed definitively and objectively, an ADHD diagnosis requires subjective diagnosis. Often, this diagnosis is offered by a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, or a psychologist; but the diagnosis usually relies upon observations made by others. Getting teachers and child care specialists to comply with Social Security Administration requests for information can be difficult. Unfortunately, getting people to comply with requests for information for adults is often even harder.

Ultimately, if the Social Security Administration’s requests for information regarding your adult ADHD are ignored or otherwise fail to make it back to the SSA, the SSA will make their decisions regarding your SSD benefits without them. One of the best things you can do for yourself if you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits based on adult ADHD is to speak with all former employers, teachers, mental health professionals, and anyone else whom the Social Security Administration may contact regarding your condition, explaining the importantance of submitting information in a timely manner.

Because the regulations governing the Social Security Administration’s treatment of adult ADHD as a condition for Social Security Disability can be a bit unclear, you should strongly consider using the services of a Social Security Disability lawyer to handle your adult ADHD Social Security Disability claim. A qualified Social Security representative will be familiar with the most up to date information regarding how the SSA is handling adult ADHD cases.

If you have a child who is currently receiving SSI for ADHD, make sure to start gathering information for their case far before of their 18th birthday. A Social Security Disability lawyer can show you what kinds of information you will want to compile in order to build your son or daughter’s case when they turn 18. All SSI disability cases are subject to review when the child becomes 18 years old, and the requirements for childhood disabilities are often different from the requirements for adult disability.

This is especially true in the case of behavioral disorders such as ADHD. For a child to qualify, it must be proven that the child’s ability to function is significantly compromised. For an adult (i.e., one who has turned 18 or is in high school to age 19), it must be proven that ADHD makes it impossible for the adult to perform meaningful work of any kind. It almost goes without saying that the bar is set quite high regarding the amount of proof which is needed to substantiate a claim that ADHD causes an adult to be completely unable to perform any work.

Attention deficit disorders can be difficult to measure, and are subject to opinion, but in those cases in which an adult is truly incapable of performing meaningful work because of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and in which this is thoroughly documented, the Social Security Administration does approve Social Security Disability claims.

An adult with disabling ADHD will need help filing a Social Security Disability claim. Almost by definition, he or she is not going to be capable of making it through the claims and appeals process without a significant amount of help. While parents and other loved ones can be immeasurably helpful in the claims process, the best help will come from a qualified Social Security Disability representative or attorney.