Can You Get SSI Benefits for ADHD?

Published on: August 2, 2016

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, has affected many adults and is more commonly diagnosed during a person’s childhood.

You can get SSI benefits for ADHD as an adult or as a child.

In 2011, nearly 11% of 4-17-year-old children were medically diagnosed with ADHD.

This disorder is predominantly diagnosed in children due to their lack of concentration and focus in school and chaotic or disorganized coping mechanisms.

However, it can remain undiagnosed and follow a child throughout his or her adulthood and result in associated struggles including depression, anxiety or substance abuse.

While there is no official test to diagnose someone suffering from ADHD, it can present itself in 3 different of ways:

  1. Inattentive
  2. Hyperactive-impulsive
  3. Combined

These different types of ADHD help to differentiate and establish the similarity of ADHD symptoms, such as a lack of attention or restlessness both physically and mentally.

Since it can be difficult to validate an ADHD diagnosis, those who are assumed to suffer from this disorder often times complete a neuropsychiatric evaluation in addition to an extensive medical and behavioral history review to verify that they aren’t suffering from depression, anxiety or substance abuse instead.

Getting SSI Benefits for ADHD

Typically, SSI benefits are awarded to children who suffer from ADHD as outlined in section 112.11 in the Code Of Federal Regulations. However, adults have been eligible to receive SSI benefits due to suffering from ADHD too.

While the medical condition you are suffering from must be listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, the SSA focuses more on how your disabling condition interferes with your ability to function daily and perform work tasks.

Adults who are applying for SSI benefits based on their ADHD often times have to prove that they have suffered from this condition since childhood and provide evidence that it has severely hindered their ability to complete schoolwork in the past and be gainfully employed in the present.

In addition to how much your ADHD interferes with your ability to work, you must also provide the following medical documentation, including:

  • Inability to pay attention
  • Highly impulsive
  • Extensive hyperactivity

Also, two of the following must be medically documented and be resulting impairments from your ADHD, including age-appropriate:

  • Cognitive or communication abilities
  • Social abilities
  • Personal abilities

Applying for ADHD SSI Benefits?

It can be challenging to apply for SSI benefits, especially if you are doing so because you suffer from ADHD as an adult.

The Social Security Administration typically will award SSI benefits to qualifying children and may award SSI benefits to adults who suffer from severe ADHD symptoms as well.

Contact a professional disability advocate today who can help you sort through the SSA’s complex jargon and help you navigate through their application process to attain the disability benefits you deserve.


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