IS ADHD A Disability?

Published on: August 10, 2023

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, for short, is a mental condition that affects many people. It is in neuropsychiatric condition characterized by difficulty focusing, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, among other symptoms. It can be diagnosed at any point in life, and symptoms can vary. For some, the condition is mild, while for others, it can be severely debilitating.  

If you struggle with severe ADHD, you may wonder if your condition qualifies as a disability and, if so, whether or not you might be able to receive disability benefits. It's an important question to ask, particularly if your condition prevents you from working and earning income as you normally would.  

Let’s take a closer look together at how the Social Security Administration determines which conditions may qualify for disability benefits. 

How Does the Social Security Administration Determine Disability? 

The good news for those struggling with severe ADHD is that depending upon the particular symptoms and the severity of the condition, the Social Security Administration does recognize ADHD as a condition that may indeed qualify as a disability for the purpose of awarding disability benefits.  

Generally, in deciding whether or not a condition qualifies for benefits, the Social Security Administration will assess two factors: 

  • Whether or not the condition is a qualifying medical condition, and  
  • Whether or not the condition renders the applicant unable to work for at least one calendar year or more. 

As it seeks to determine whether or not a condition qualifies for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will often consult its list of impairments, also known as the "Blue Book." The Blue Book includes numerous medical conditions, as well as the symptoms that often accompany those conditions. If your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, this does not mean that you will never be approved for benefits - it simply means you must provide additional proof concerning your condition.  

Fortunately, for those struggling with ADHD, however, the condition is included in the Blue Book. Those who can provide sufficient medical proof that their condition meets the standards outlined in the Blue Book and who can also prove that the condition has rendered them disabled for at least one calendar year or more may have a good chance of qualifying for benefits. This leads to the next question – how much might you receive? 

How Much Will You Receive? 

If you qualify for benefits, you may wonder how much you are eligible to receive. That's an understandable question, as being unable to work can be extremely difficult from a financial perspective. Ultimately, the answer will depend upon a variety of circumstances.  

Typically, The Social Security Administration provides two types of disability benefits:  

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): These benefits are typically paid to those individuals who worked a qualifying job for a sufficient length of time, through which they paid money into the Social Security system.  
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI benefits depend not on work history but on an individual having income and resources below a certain threshold established by the Social Security Administration.  

Both types of benefits are dependent upon an individual having a qualifying medical condition that has rendered them unable to work for a year or more. SSDI benefit amounts are typically determined based on the earnings history of the applicant. Thus, the higher your salary and the more you paid into the system, the more you are likely to receive up to a certain maximum amount. On the other hand, SSI benefits are calculated by taking the maximum federal benefit rate and subtracting any "countable income.”  

It is important to realize that neither benefit is affected by your particular medical condition. In 2023, the maximum available amount of SSDI benefits was $3,627 per month, and the maximum amount of SSI benefits was $914 per individual or $1,371 per couple.  

Understandably, determining how much you might receive in benefits can seem complicated. As with so many legal matters, the first and most important step is to consult an attorney who knows and understands the law and can guide you through the process with the knowledge and experience you need. At Disability Experts, we’re here for you. 

Disability Experts – Here For You 

Being disabled is difficult. There's no question about it. When you're struggling with a disability, additional stress is the last thing you need. You don't need to worry about how to handle complicated legal matters, and you don’t need to wonder if you’re doing all you can to pursue the benefits you need and deserve. Instead, you can leave those matters to us. At Disability Experts, we understand every aspect of the process of pursuing benefits, and we will be here to guide you every step of the way. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon. 


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