ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurological or psychiatric disorder which affects your ability to maintain focus or concentration and causes you to have periods of impulsiveness, hyperactivity, or both. The disorder is categorized into three subtypes, which are:
- ADHC-C, in which both attention span and impulsivity/hyperactivity affect you
- ADHD-H, in which the you are mainly affected by impulsivity/hyperactivity
- ADHD-I, in which you are mainly affected by inattentiveness/lack of attention span (this form is simply labeled ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
The severity of ADHD symptoms varies considerably from one person to the next, as is the degree to which it affects their lives. In some cases, the condition can be treated effectively with medication and/or psychotherapy. Unfortunately, this usually involves a lot of trial and error to get an effective type and dosage of medicine.
How ADHD Affects Your Physical Capacity for Work
While ADHD is primarily a psychiatric impairment, it can affect your ability to physically perform types of work which involve repetition, or which require you to be still and concentrate on what you’re doing.
How ADHD Affects Your Mental Capacity for Work
ADHD, in any of its forms, can present significant challenges to your mental capacity to work. In the first place, many people with ADHD have difficulty staying focused on a task, making any kind of repetitive work very difficult. Secondly, those with ADHD often have challenges in social environments which make it difficult to work with others. They are often prone to inappropriate outbursts, in which they don’t consider the consequences of what they say or do until after the damage is done. Needless to say, this limits them from performing many types of jobs.
ADHD also affects many people’s ability to succeed in school. Because of this, many fail to graduate high school and even fewer receive any postsecondary education or training. The disorder can have a significant effect on a person’s ability to succeed in most training environments, making it difficult to learn new job skills.
Those with ADHD-H or ADHD-C may also find it very difficult to stay in one place. Most sedentary jobs are very difficult for anyone with hyperactivity/impulsivity disorders, as is any job which requires repetitive actions.
ADHD and Applying for Social Security Disability
ADHD does not have its own listing in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. What this means is that they don’t have an exact standard for determining whether or not you should qualify for benefits based on the diagnosis of ADHD. In order to obtain disability benefits due to ADHD, you will have to prove that the condition makes it impossible for you to perform any kind of work which is available to you anywhere in the country. Generally speaking, this means showing that your condition and its symptoms are equal to or greater than the symptoms of other conditions which the SSA recognizes in the Blue Book.
When considering your claim, the SSA will look at your medical records. They will also want to see any employment record you have and any academic records you have. They will be looking for evidence relating to how your ADHD symptoms made it difficult or impossible for you to succeed in those situations. Basically, they are looking to see if there is enough evidence to prove that you could not reasonably be expected to perform any work which is available to you.
When making your claim, you will want to include information on all other physical and psychiatric disabilities you may have. Many who have ADHD also suffer from other psychiatric or psychological conditions, and you will want to make sure to include information on any of them which you deal with. The SSA will consider the total effect of all of your disabilities in determining whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
For a free evaluation of your disability claim fill out the form located on this site.