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ADHD: Attention Deficit Disorder & Social Security Disability or SSI


ADHD: Attention Deficit Disorder & Social Security Disability or SSI

Children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have difficulty focusing on and finishing tasks, are easily distracted, talk excessively and cannot sit still. They often have trouble making and keeping friends due to their impulsive behavior and require extra help in school. Although medications are available to alleviate hyperactivity and impulsivity associated with ADHD, most children with attention deficit disorder need specialized care that can be costly. The Social Security Administration may approve a child with ADHD for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security disability (SSD) if their symptoms meet criteria established by the SSA.


Attention Deficit

How Can Children with ADHD Receive SSI?


Supplemental Security Income is awarded to children with ADHD if their parent’s income is below SSA guidelines and the child’s attention deficit disorder meets criteria under the SSA’s neurodevelopmental disorders listing. Parents need to provide documentation to the SSA proving their child is:


  • Severely impulsive and hyperactive
  • Distractible to the point they cannot focus on anything for more than a minute or two
  • Engages in recurring vocalizations and/or motor movements
  • Has significant issues learning new information and applying information towards academic tasks
  • Inability to control dangerous behaviors involving self-harm, managing relationship conflicts and verbally or physically attacking others


Adults with ADHD may also qualify for Social Security disability if their attention deficit disorder prevent them from being “gainfully employed” and earning enough income on which to live.


Is It Difficult for Children to Get Approved for ADHD Social Security Benefits?


The subjective nature of the SSA to evaluate attentive deficit disorder symptoms often means parents receive an initial denial of their claim. They must then file an appeal and have their claim litigated in front of an SSA judge. In most cases, doctors diagnosing a child with ADHD rely on observational notes provided by teachers, daycare workers, parents and child psychologists. The problem with getting an ADHD claim approved is clinically demonstrating that the child’s symptoms are severe enough to warrant SSI benefits.


Hiring a Social Security disability lawyer can significantly reduce the risk that an initial SSA claim for ADHD is denied. Contact the Law Office of Daniel Berger today to schedule an appointment to discuss your child’s ADHD disability claim.

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