Although it is difficult for a child with ADHD to be approved for SSI Disability benefits, those with severe ADHD who meet the SSI program’s requirements have a chance of being awarded benefits. One of the first requirements is that your child shows all of the symptoms of ADHD, which include the following: severe hyperactivity, severe inattentiveness, and severe impulsiveness. The first requirement is one that applies to both children under the age of 3 and children aging from 3-18 years of age. Although the requirements are similar, they do differ for these two separate age groups. Most children aren’t diagnosed with ADHD until they are older than 3 years old, which is why there is need for two separate age group requirements: those under the age of 3 years and those who range from 3 years to 18 years.
The latter group (3-18 years) must have evidence that they have extreme difficulty in at least two of the following four areas in comparison to their peers: issues in cognitive functions, personal functions, social functions, or issues with persistency/ concentration. As previously mentioned, there must be evidence of these difficulties such as medical treatment/documentation, evaluations or notes from teachers and parents regarding the child’s history with ADHD, or results from a type of standardized testing the measures the child’s abilities and/or development.
For children who are younger than 3 years old, the Social Security Administration looks for any evidence of developmental issues that result from ADHD symptoms. They must see that your child has developmental delays in cognitive functions, personal functions, social functions, concentration, or in their fine motor development. Being as this particular age group is younger and unlikely to be diagnosed with ADHD just yet, there is a much smaller chance of them being granted benefits.
A couple of other factors that will play into your child’s eligibility is whether or not they work and how well they do in school. Much like with adults applying for Social Security, there is a limit on how much money a child could make a month all the while still being eligible. Some older children may have jobs, if this is the case they cannot earn more than $1,040 per month and still be eligible. In regards to school, the Social Security Administration needs to see how ADHD affects your child in their development. If ADHD has such a negative effect on their school and learning, it could lead to further issues down the road. So it is necessary that there is sufficient evidence (such as standardized tests, teacher notes, progress reports, etc.) to prove your child’s ADHD is disabling to their learning and developmental progress.
Having to gather all of the evidence needed to prove your child’s ADHD is disabling enough can be a headache, especially if there is only a small chance they will be approved for SSI Disability benefits. However, it has been shown that having a lawyer represent your case has a higher approval rate compared to those who chose to represent themselves alone. So, although chances are small, there is still hope for being approved.