Yes, ADHD is a developmental disability and not a learning disability. To help people with ADHD to be successful, accommodations can be provided in the work environment or in the classroom to help people.

In case the ADHD symptoms are more severe, you may be eligible for federal benefits. However, the determination of granting of benefits will vary depending on whether the symptoms are long-lasting and severe. 

Individuals with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) may be eligible for disability benefits if their condition substantially limits their ability to work and perform daily activities.

However, the process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits for ADHD can be complex, and the determination of eligibility is made on a case-by-case basis. This may include difficulty with attention, concentration, and organization, as well as impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Is ADHD a Disability Under The ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has included ADHD as a disability. The employees must be provided with suitable accommodations if they are facing any hardships while working.  

How Does The SSA Define ADHD?

ADHD is not listed in the SSA’s Blue Book. However, if your symptoms are severe and fall into any type of mental health disorder such as neurocognitive disorders you may qualify for the ADHD disability benefits.

Can You Get Disability Benefits For ADHD?

Yes, you may be eligible for disability benefits for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), depending on the severity of your symptoms and how much they impact your ability to work.

To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you must have a severe impairment that prevents you from working and earning a substantial income. ADHD alone is not enough to qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate your medical condition and how it affects your ability to function in a work setting.

If you are struggling with multiple disabling conditions, it may be easier for you to qualify for the Social Security Disability Benefits. Some conditions can be

What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD?

ADHD is a combination of impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Some other ADHD symptoms are as follows:

  • Disorganization
  • Restlessness 
  • Lack of planning skills
  • Challenges in focus 
  • Unable to complete a task
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Difficulty dealing with stress
  • Overactivity
  • Poor time management 

Common Types Of ADHD

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to concentrate, control impulses, and regulate their behavior. ADHD is typically diagnosed in childhood, but it can persist into adulthood. There are three types of ADHD: 

  • Inattentive Type: The inattentive type is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty paying attention, forgetfulness, and being easily distracted. 
  • Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: The hyperactive-impulsive type is characterized by symptoms such as fidgeting, restlessness, impulsivity, and interrupting others. 
  • Combined Type: The combined type includes both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.

ADHD can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life, including their academic and work performance, social interactions, and overall quality of life.

Is ADHD a Developmental Disability?

Yes, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder and is classified as such in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Neurodevelopmental disorders are a group of conditions that affect the development and functioning of the brain, resulting in difficulties with cognitive, social, and emotional processes. Other examples of neurodevelopmental disorders include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, and Specific Learning Disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, classify ADHD as a developmental disability, as do some state and local agencies.

Is ADHD a Learning Disability?

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is not considered a learning disability, although it can sometimes co-occur with learning disabilities.

Learning disabilities are conditions that affect a person’s ability to acquire and use language, perform mathematical calculations, and develop other cognitive skills essential for learning. These disabilities can make it difficult for individuals to read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, among other things.

While ADHD can affect a person’s ability to focus, pay attention, and regulate their behavior, it does not directly affect cognitive processing or learning abilities. However, the symptoms of ADHD can make it challenging for individuals to succeed academically, especially if they have co-occurring learning disabilities.

How To Apply For ADHD Disability Benefits?

To apply for ADHD disability benefits, you will need to follow the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) application process. Some steps are as follows:

  • Gather medical records: You will need to provide documentation of your ADHD diagnosis and treatment history, including medical records from doctors, therapists, and other healthcare professionals who have treated you for your condition.
  • Complete the application: You can apply for disability benefits online at the SSA’s website, over the phone, or in person at a local SSA office. You will need to provide information about your work history, medical condition, and treatment history.
  • Wait for a decision: The SSA will review your application and medical records to determine if you meet the criteria for disability benefits. This process can take several months.
  • Consider appealing a denial: If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You may want to consider working with an experienced disability attorney or advocate to help you navigate the appeals process.

How Much Is a Disability Check For ADHD?

The ADHD average monthly paycheck for mental health disorders such as neurocognitive disorders like ADHD is $1,170. However, the maximum amount for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is $3,822, and for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is $943 every month in 2024.

SSA’s Eligibility Criteria For Getting Disability With ADHD

ADHD may qualify you for the disability if you are unable to earn subtaintial gainful activity (SGA). The Social Security Adminsitration (SSA) has strict guidelines while they analyze who must be eligible for the benefits for mental health disorders such as ADHD.

Diagnosis of ADHD: Before applying, you need to prove you have been diagnosed with ADHD. They must meeet the criteria stated in DSM-5:

  • Inattention: Adults must showcase at least 5 to 6 symptoms of inattention that is affecting their developmental level and the symptoms are lasting for at least 6 months or more. In children, at least 6 symptoms must be exhibited.
  • Hyperactivity and impulsivity: Adults must showcase at least 5 to 6 symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity that is affecting their developmental level and the symptoms are lasting for at least 6 months or more. In children, at least 6 symptoms must be exhibited before 12 years.

However, it can be difficult to analyze ADHD in children. 

ADHD records: The applicant must submit their medical records which will be a proof of their disorder. The records must exhibit:

  • Problem in understanding or applying instructions and information
  • Issues in completing tasks within time
  • Mood disorders
  • Problems in communicating with others

For adolescents and children, the medical records will include:

  • Report cards
  • Psychological testing
  • Lists of ADHD medication
  • Individualized Educational Plan reports

Furthermore, you must also demonstrate that regular medical treatment is also not reducing the severity of your ADHD symptoms.

What If My ADHD Meets The Eligibility Criteria Of The SSA?

You must apply as soon as possible if you meet the SSA’s eligibility criteria. Moreover, you must consider the guidelines before applying:

  • An applicant must apply if they have received a diagnosis of ADHD and their symptoms are severe and lasting for at least more than 12 months or more. Your condition is not improving even without treatment. 
  • You must wait if you are able to work and your symptoms are moderate. 
  • An applicant must apply later if they are earning more than $1,550 per month and their symptoms are not interfering with their day-to-day activities.

5 Questions That Must Be Answered Before Applying

If the answer to the following questions are yes, you must apply for the ADHD benefits:

  • Are you facing issues in concentrating in your work or any daily life activities?
  • Are you struggling to communicate or socialize with others?
  • Do you face problems in following instructions given by your boss at work?
  • Do you face any sleeping issues in middle of your work?
  • Are you unable to manage your stress?

What If My ADHD Doesn’t Meet The Eligibility Criteria Of The SSA?

If your ADHD does not meet the eligibility criteria of the SSA, you may still apply for the ADHD disability benefits. This is because there will not be a penalty for applying. However, you must provide accurate and correct information in the application form. You must apply as soon as possible because it is a time-consuming procedure. 

Nearly 34.6% of disability applicants receive disability benefits due to their mental health condition. You can also work with a Social Security disability lawyer who can guide you in the appeal process if your disability benefits are denied in the initial phase.