Can I Work with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Receiving approval for a Social Security Disability claim for children under 18 years of age can be difficult. Winning a Social Security Disability claim for adults is nigh unto impossible unless you also have other related disorders. Most adults with ADHD do also show symptoms of related disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and clinical depression, but you will need to have this medically documented to have a serious chance of continuing to receive Social Security Disability benefits as an adult.

All children receiving Social Security Disability benefits have their diary opened and reconsidered around the time they turn 18 years old. Unfortunately, the criteria for adult disability is often quite different from the criteria used to determine whether a child qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits. Many young adults whose conditions have not significantly improved find themselves suddenly disqualified for Social Security disability benefits.

Fortunately, you have a right to appeal this decision (and usually to continue receiving benefits during your appeal). Your best bet is to seek representation from a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer during the appeals process. The main reason for this is the fact that they are thoroughly familiar with the Social Security Disability system and what is required to prove that you are incapable of performing meaningful work due to your condition.

The Effects of Attention Hyperactivity Disorder on Your Ability to Perform Physical Work

One of the reasons it can be difficult to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is that ADHD does not, in and of itself, typically hinder a person from performing physical work such as standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, or pulling. In most ADHD cases, you will need to prove that your disorder makes it mentally unfeasible for you to perform such work on a regular basis. In most cases this is because those who suffer from severe ADHD lack the ability to concentrate on a task for any period of time.

On some level, this makes the level of physical exertion required to perform a given job irrelevant. If you can’t focus on the job, it really doesn’t matter how much lifting or walking it requires. Proving that you don’t have the attention span for any available work, however, is no easy matter.

To qualify for Social Security Disability on the basis of Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder, you will need to be able to provide medical documentation which proves that you have demonstrated all of the following mental conditions:

  • Significant Inattention
  • Significant hyperactivity
  • Significant impulsivity

You will need to not only show that you have displayed all of those mental conditions, but also that you have displayed them on a level severe enough to preclude you from holding employment in any jobs which are available to someone of your age and educational level.

In addition to demonstrating this, you will also need to show that ADHD has a significant negative impact on your ability to function around other people. SSA will consider how your ADHD has impacted your ability to communicate and react to social situations. The burden of proof rests on you to show that you are incapable of handling a work situation because of your ADHD. Proving this without the help of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney is extremely difficult, in large part because your ability to represent yourself is likely to be interpreted as an ability to focus your attention.

The Effects of Attention Hyperactivity Disorder on Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work

In most cases, you will actually have a much easier time showing that you cannot perform available sedentary work when you have ADHD than proving that you cannot perform physical work. This is because most sedentary work involves either working with people in social situations or concentrating on repetitive tasks which require manual dexterity. These kinds of jobs are difficult for people with ADHD since they are unable to focus on their mind on the task at hand for an extended period of time.