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Is ADHD eligible for SSD benefits?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | Supplemental Security Income |

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common disorders that affect children. It also impacts adults. Children and adults with this disorder may be eligible for Social Security benefits.

Supplemental Security Income is intended to help children under 18 who have severe chronic conditions such as ADHD. Adults having severe ADHD symptoms may be eligible for Social Security Disability payments.


ADHD is a chronic neuropsychiatric condition. It involves problems with focusing, holding attention, being impulsive, hyperactivity and behavior issues involving hyperactivity and impulsivity.

ADHS symptoms may be mild or detectable. Individuals may also have more severe debilitating symptoms.

The average age for people with ADHD is seven years old. Symptoms often become apparent by the time a child is 12 but it can affect younger children and adults. Nine percent of children and four percent adults in this country have ADHD, according to estimates.

ADHD first diagnosed in adults often have symptoms that are traced back to their childhood. Up to 60 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to have symptoms when they are adults.

ADHD has three subtypes. Depending on symptoms, the subtypes are mostly inattentive, mostly hyperactive, or impulsive or a combination of these two symptoms.


ADHD may cause mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. Depending on severity, ADHD can hinder a person’s ability to focus on schoolwork or to keep a job, especially one that is routine. It may also harm personal relationships.

ADHD may impede:

  • Sitting still.
  • Paying attention.
  • Being organized.
  • Following directions or instructions.
  • Remembering details.
  • Impulse control.

Social Security

SSI may cover children under 18 with ADHD which impairs their or their parent’s ability to function effectively. For SSI eligibility, the condition must affect a person’s ability to an extreme degree for at least 12 months.

Adults with severe symptoms may be eligible for SSD payments if the ADHD prevented them from keeping a job or working in any capacity. Adults who can demonstrate that they were treated for ADHD as a child usually have a greater chance of receiving benefits.

The Social Security Administration decides eligibility based upon the facts of each case. SSA considers factors such as a claimant’s age, work history and medical history.

In addition to showing an ADHD diagnosis, claimants must submit verifiable medical documents identifying symptoms such as marked inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. Claimants also need to show impairment in areas of cognitive, social, or personal functioning supported by medical documents, a psychological evaluation and therapist notes.

Seeking and keeping benefits may be complicated. Attorneys can assist with the eligibility process and help assure that you may pursue your rights for benefits.