Disability Lawyer


ADHD in Adults and Social Security Disability

In regards to Social Security, disabilities that make you disabled as a child, does not necessary make you permanently disabled as an adult.  In fact one of the best examples of this is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Social Security has a separate listing for ADHD in the child listing, whereas for adults it is considered with other disabilities. ADHD for adults may be evaluated under 12.02, 12.05 and 12.10, depending on what the ADHD is paired with.  If ADHD is paired with a low IQ score, then Social Security may find the individual means the criteria for 12.05.  However, this decision by Social Security depends on the score of the IQ and whether the Social Security Administration considers the ADHD to be another significant impairment. In order to be considered a significant impairment with Social Security, the applicant must be diagnosed with the condition.  Secondly, the applicant needs to be treating for the alleged conditions.  If the applicant is not treating for the condition, then the condition is non-severe.  Lastly, the applicant needs to be taking medication for the alleged impairments.  If the applicant is not taking medication for the alleged impairment, then the condition is non-severe. In addition, the alleged condition must interfere with the applicant’s activities of daily living, social functioning, and maintaining pace and persistence.  For example:  Albert was diagnosed with ADHD by his treating psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist prescribed Albert Adderall and Stratera to help with Albert’s ADHD.  The medications did not work and so the psychiatrist tried all of the ADHD medications.  None of the medications worked.  Albert’s ADHD caused interference in his conversation with others.  The ADHD also caused difficulties in Albert’s ability to get dressed everyday, cook, and take care of normal day to day activities.  Albert’s ability to focus was very limited and he had difficulties with following one task.  As a result, Social Security would likely approve the application because he cannot follow even one simple task.  As a result, Albert would need to be in more of a sheltered type of work.  A diagnose of ADHD is not enough by itself to get an applicant approved for Social Security.  It is important for the applicant to treat and to treat regularly.  If an applicant is not treating for the condition, then Social Security believes the diagnosed condition to be non-severe.  In other words, the diagnosis does not cause any difficulties with day to day living, social functioning and with work. In conclusion, ADHD is considered differently in adult’s cases versus children’s cases.  It is hard to prove ADHD in adult’s cases versus children’s cases.  However both adults and children need to be treated for the diagnosis and continue to treat for the diagnosis.  If the applicants do not try to help themselves, why should Social Security?