Social Security Disability for ADHD
Can I Get Social Security Disability for ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental conditions suffered by Florida residents. Usually diagnosed in childhood, it often lasts into adulthood and can certainly affect one’s ability to function in a negative way.
Can you get Social Security Disability for ADHD in Florida?
ADHD may indeed support an SSD Benefits claim under the right circumstances.
What Are the Symptoms of ADHD?
When ADHD persists into adulthood, it is often the case that the disorder has gone undiagnosed throughout a person’s life. Symptoms may vary, at this point, from individual to individual, with one or more of the typical childhood ADHD symptoms having receded in favor of others that may have grown stronger with age.
That said, some of the typical symptoms of ADHD include:
- Excess daydreaming;
- Forgetfulness, tendency to lose objects;
- Tendency to fidget and squirm;
- Extreme restlessness;
- Tendency toward over-activity or hyper-activity;
- Easily distractible.
How Is ADHD Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of ADHD does not rely on a single test.
Rather, other causes of the various symptoms are ruled out by medical professionals first. Next, if that another cause does not support the symptoms present, healthcare professionals will apply the guidelines for ADHD diagnosis in the “DSM-5” (The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition).
The DSM-5 requires that people with ADHD demonstrate a persistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity that interferes with functioning.
For adults, the presence of 5 or more of the following sorts of symptoms present for at least 6 months may indicate ADHD:
- Making careless mistakes at work;
- Difficulty keeping attention on tasks;
- Does not appear to listen when spoken to directly;
- Failure to follow through on instructions;
- Difficulty organizing tasks;
- Easily distracted;
- Often forgetful.
- Hyperactivity & Impulsivity:
Again, for adults, the DSM-5 requires 5 or more of the same these of symptoms, below, present for at least 6 months in a manner that is disruptive to the sufferer’s ability to function.
- Fidgeting and squirming;
- Excessive talking;
- Blurting answers;
- Difficulty waiting for one’s turn;
- Tendency to interrupt or intrude on others;
- Unable to enjoy leisure activities quietly.
Additionally, for adults, several of the symptoms must have been present before the age of 12, and they must also be present in 2 or more settings. There must be clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with the quality of school or work functioning.
It must also be the case that the symptoms are not better explained by some other medical condition.
Depending on what symptoms are occurring with what frequency, 3 different sorts of ADHD may be diagnosed:
- Predominantly Inattentive
If enough of the Inattention symptoms, above, have been present for the past 6 months, this strain of ADHD may be diagnosed.
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulse
If enough of the Hyperactivity-Impulsivity symptoms, above, have been present for the past 6 months, this form of ADHD may be diagnosed.
If enough of both of the above types of ADHD symptoms have been present for at least 6 months, the “Combined” form of the condition may be diagnosed.
What Is the Usual Treatment for ADHD?
Adult ADHD is usually treated with behavior therapy and medication, as well as psychotherapy, education and other training, or a combination of these techniques.
Does Adult ADHD Entitle You to Social Security Disability Benefits in Florida?
In order to obtain Social Security Disability Benefits in Florida or anywhere else, you must be “disabled” as defined by the Social Security Administration, or SSA.
Under Federal law, “disability” means the following:
- The inability to perform any “substantial gainful” activity …
- By reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which …
- Can be expected to last 12 months or more, or …
- To result in your death.
Further, your condition must be one that is listed in the SSA’s so-called Blue Book list of medical conditions that are sufficiently severe to support an SSD Benefits Claim.
If your condition is not listed in the SSA Blue Book, it must, alternatively, be one that is as severe as those that are listed.
The SSA Blue Book Listing for Social Security Disability for ADHD
Social Security Disability for ADHD and similar disabilities are included in Category 12.11 of the Blue Book listings. This category is applied when all of the following conditions are present, supported with properly supplied medical documentation:
- Frequent distractibility, difficulty sustaining attention, and difficulty organizing tasks, or hyperactive and impulsive behavior;
- Significant difficulties learning and using academic skills; or recurrent motor movement or vocalization;
- Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information;
- Interacting with others;
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace;
- Adapting or managing oneself.
If your ADHD is diagnosed as including these symptoms, your application for Social Security Disability Benefits should be approved.
Of course, the art of SSD Benefits applications is in understanding what medical evidence needs to be submitted and by whom. Many “should be approved” SSD applications have fallen by the wayside due needless errors or incorrect or untimely documentation submissions.
This is one of the reasons that your odds of success will be maximized by working with an experienced Orlando Disability Attorney.
How you can retain a Social Security Disability Attorney in Florida is further addressed, below.
What If My ADHD Symptoms Don’t Exactly Match The SSA Blue Book Listing?
If your ADHD symptoms do not exactly mirror the SSA Blue Book requirement described above, it does not mean that you will not be able to obtain Social Security Disability Benefits.
It means, however, that you will need to prove to the SSA that your condition is just as severe as the Blue Book version of ADHD.
You will be required to demonstrate through the provision of medical evidence that your condition meets the definition of “disability” described at the beginning of this Article.
What medical evidence is required for approval of a non-Blue Book disability claim?
The SSA will review only supportive medical records provided by an approved medical service provider. Depending on what symptom you are alleging, the evidence may be provided by a variety of (legitimate) medical service providers, including:
- Licensed physicians;
- Licensed or certified psychologists;
- School psychologists or similar individuals operating in a school setting;
- Licensed optometrists (for visual disorders);
- Licensed podiatrists (for disorders of the foot or ankle);
- Qualified speech-language pathologists (for speech or language impairments);
- Licensed physician assistants for impairments within their limited scopes of practice;
- Licensed audiologists for hearing-loss or auditory impairments;
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) for impairments within their limited scopes of practice.
The documentation provided by AMSs must consist of objective medical evidence, including signs, laboratory findings, or both. The SSA will not establish an MDI based on symptoms, a diagnosis, or a medical opinion.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability for ADHD in Florida
Your initial application is completed online or in person at an Orlando or Maitland Social Security Administration Office.
You have the choice of retaining a Florida Disability Attorney to assist you with your initial application or waiting until you receive a denial, as the majority of SSD applications do.
If you elect to retain a lawyer to assist you from the outset, you will ensure that your initial application is completed properly and accurately, with the specific information that your lawyer knows from experience that the SSA is looking for.
There’s never any guarantee that you will not receive a denial, initially, even with the help of a Florida Disability Attorney—but you will at least have taken care to ensure that no avoidable mistakes are made.
Once your application is filed with the SSA, a number of months will pass before you receive a response.
If it is a denial, you will have, with your attorney, the ability to appeal it and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge to make your case with the use of expert and other witness testimony, along with your medical evidence in support.
ADHD and Social Security Disability Benefits: The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that it is important to consult an experienced Orlando Disability Lawyer to have your specific circumstances, ability to work, and condition evaluated by an experienced legal professional.
At The Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, PA, we will ensure that your Florida Disability claim is handled properly.
Once you submit your information to us, you will receive an immediate opportunity to discuss your disability claim with us in a free, initial consultation with our Florida Social Security Attorney.
During that discussion, we will chart a continued path forward for you and provide you all of the initial guidance you need to make the right decision for yourself and for your claim.
Armed with the free information we will provide you; you will be fully informed and able to determine what the best course of action for your disability claim will be.