When Can a Child With ADHD Get Disability?

by Jul 3, 2017Disability Benefits

Home » Blog » Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) » When Can a Child With ADHD Get Disability?

Parents can receive disability benefits for a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, these benefits are not automatic and most parents of children with ADHD do not qualify. The Social Security Administration (SSA) limits ADHD benefits to the most severe cases of the disorder.

If your child has ADHD and you are seeking benefits on his or her behalf, contact the disability attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group for help. We have experience filing Social Security Disability (SSD) claims and will pursue yours aggressively. We know how to prove that your child’s ADHD is extreme enough to warrant disability benefits by gathering all available evidence on your behalf and presenting it to the SSA in a convincing manner. Call us today at 865-566-0800 for a free consultation.

How can I get disability benefits for my child with ADHD?

The SSA has strict requirements for getting disability for any qualifying medical condition. To qualify, your child must meet the SSA’s impairment criteria for ADHD. These criteria stipulate that your child demonstrates severe and ongoing symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and lack of attention resulting from ADHD. Moreover, the symptoms must cause severe limitations in his or her ability to function at school and at home.

The SSA also lays out areas in which your child must lag significantly behind peers to receive benefits for ADHD. He or she has to show difficulty keeping up with peers in at least two of the following four areas:

  • The ability to remember, comprehend, or apply information;
  • Social functioning;
  • Self-management and adaptability; and
  • Abilities relating to concentration, persistence, or pace.

We would need to gather extensive documentation from doctors, mental health professionals, and teachers to show that your child struggles in these areas. Some forms of evidence we would pursue include medical records, treatment notes, classroom evaluations, and achievement tests.

What do I need to do to get benefits for my child?

While it is difficult to get disability benefits on behalf of a child with ADHD, it is not impossible. To win your claim, we need to provide extensive medical documentation and present it in a way that resonates with the SSA.

The SSA is not as concerned with your child’s actual condition as they are with its effects on his or her ability to engage in age-appropriate activities, such as schoolwork and socializing with peers.

As a result, you have the best chance of winning your case if we can show evidence that your child’s ADHD is severely disrupting his or her daily life.

Prescription Medication

We cannot win disability benefits for your child based solely on the fact he or she is taking ADHD medication. However, your child’s prescription for an ADHD drug, such as Adderall or Ritalin, is a good place to start building your claim.

This is because it shows that a doctor found your child’s condition severe enough to warrant pharmaceutical intervention. It also introduces a cost factor. We can argue that you need disability benefits to help defray the cost of expensive ADHD medication.

Mental Health Professionals

For the SSA to take your claim seriously, your child needs an ADHD diagnosis from a mental health professional, not just a family doctor or general practitioner. Mental health professionals have access to more sophisticated testing methods, so their opinions carry more weight.

After your child meets with a mental health specialist, we can help you secure the diagnostic paperwork you need to bolster your claim.

School Performance Records

School work and testing results offer perhaps the best evidence that your child’s ADHD is having a measurable impact on his or her life. Just as adults win disability cases when their condition prevents them from working, children have the best chance of winning when their condition prevents them from making the most out of school.

We can help gather any school testing evidence that shows the impact of your child’s ADHD. Any evidence that your child is struggling and needs individual attention in the classroom strengthens your claim.

Are there other qualifications I must meet to get disability for my child?

Your income might limit what you can receive in benefits. The program that provides disability benefits for children is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is a welfare program designed to provide disabled, low-income, low-resource people with enough money to live and treat their conditions.

If you earn over a certain amount, you do not qualify for SSI. This is true whether you seek benefits for yourself or your children. The SSI income limit, or federal benefit rate (FBR), is also the maximum benefit amount you can receive each month.

The 2017 FBR for a single person is $735 per month. For a couple, it is $1,103 per month. Not all the income you earn counts toward this total.

Income limits for SSI can be confusing, but we will sit down with you and explain what you qualify for and what to expect. Even if you think you make too much money to receive disability benefits for your child, the SSA lets you deduct more from your income than you might think.

Do I need an attorney to apply for disability for my child?

The decision-making criteria the SSA uses are complex and often seem arbitrary. The attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group can clear the disability application process up for you and take the burden off your shoulders. We have experience with these cases and will pursue yours aggressively, keeping you in the loop every step of the way. Call 865-566-0800 today so we can get your child the disability benefits he or she needs for ADHD.