Disability Benefits for Americans Struggling with ADHD

by Amos Z

Living with mental illness is a reality hundreds of thousands of Americans have to deal with every single day, and sometimes, the costs are too great for the average low-income family to handle.

Attention-deficit disorder is a mental illness that affects millions of American children and adults across the entire country, creating an array of issues for them stemming from their inability to remain focused, impulsive behavior, and bursts of hyperactivity.

It’s estimated that around 4% of American adults have ADHD, although the reality of it is that the majority of them go their entire lives without ever being diagnosed.

This can lead to a lifetime of difficulties that eventually spiral out of control and lead to loss of income, unemployment, and other developments that can put an individual into a less-than-desirable situation, financially speaking.

Thankfully, disability benefits now apply to patients diagnosed with ADHD as well, and we’re going to help you understand how to make use of them.

History of ADHD

Originally not considered to be a mental illness, ADHD didn’t fall under the conditions that would make an individual eligible for government benefits, making their life much harder due to the difficulties they face in the workplace every single day.

Since then, we’ve made many improvements in terms of making things easier for these individuals, as the SSA had created a set of criteria that allows ADHD-diagnosed individuals to receive government benefits.

This refers to the symptoms an individual is experiencing, and if the Social Security Administration deems them disabling, they may qualify the individual for federal assistance through one of the many agencies administering it.

Struggling with depression, anxiety, memory loss, and other symptoms while trying to remain effective in the workplace is tough, and it takes years of hard work and dedication to keep one’s ADHD in check.


Not every person diagnosed with ADHD will exhibit the same symptoms, meaning that while some may be able to participate in the workplace, others will not, and that’s where the SSA draws the line.

The inability to take part in gainful work is defined as being easily distracted, hyperactive, or having significant difficulties in utilizing one’s academic skills the SSA.

This also includes difficulties with remembering and learning new information as well as interacting with others in the workplace, as relations between employees must be healthy in order to maintain a relaxed workplace atmosphere.

Essentially, the SSA doesn’t care whether you’re diagnosed with the condition or not, but rather, how it affects your productivity and the productivity of those around you, and if you’re unable to work because of these symptoms, you may qualify for government benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Is it classified as a disability?

In general, ADHD isn’t considered to be a disability, but rather, a mental condition that may or may not impede one’s ability to be part of the workforce.

Through the Disability Insurance program that the SSA has to offer, disabled individuals can receive benefits so long as their disability persists and is directly causing them not to be able to work.

In the case of an individual diagnosed with ADHD though, they must display proof of not being able to do any gainful activity whatsoever, as it’s not a cognitive or motor disability, meaning that if the symptoms are light enough, the person in question may still be a member of the workforce.

The severity of one’s ADHD is a huge factor in determining whether one qualifies for benefits, with other factors like one’s work experience and ability to conduct the same kind of work taking 2nd place.

With this in mind, as long as you’ve got proof that your ADHD symptoms prevent you from performing productive work, you can collect your government benefits.

Children with ADHD

On the other hand, kids diagnosed with ADHD are classified in a different manner by the SSA, as any child with hyperactive behavior and frequent distractibility is considered to be eligible for SSDI benefits.

Another factor is the family’s income level, and if it’s low enough to qualify your family for SSI, your child may be entitled to benefits based on their condition.

This will require a great deal of dedication on your part, as the amount of paperwork you’ll have to collect and submit is daunting, to say the least, ranging from psychological treatment notes from physicians to medical records and classroom evaluations.

As silly as it may sound to some, ADHD is a serious issue, and being easily distracted can be more damaging than one would imagine, which is exactly why these government benefits are so important.

Final word

If you’re unsure whether your ADHD qualifies you for government benefits, the best course of action may be to visit a nearby lawyer in order to file your disability claim.

Getting help from a professional is never the wrong move, and even if it may set you back financially, the benefits you may be entitled to will greatly outweigh these costs.

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