Most people in Greenwood, South Carolina, don’t realize that ADHD affects adults as well as children and that you can apply for disability if you suffer from this disorder. The majority of children who have ADHD will continue to have the disorder well into adulthood, in many cases, forever. Yet, the Social Security Administration doesn’t have an impairment listing that specifically addresses adult ADHD. They do have one for children, but not for adults. Having said that, the impairments that come with ADHD may fall into other categories which would allow for you to succeed with your Greenwood, South Carolina, disability claim with ADHD.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is considered to be a mental impairment that is primarily associated with and diagnosed in children. It causes person suffering from the condition to be unable to sit still and focus on lessons. The affects on children and adults are similar. Yet, the symptoms of ADHD can be very similar to other mental health conditions. The following illnesses can have similar symptoms:
- Bipolar disorder
- Antisocial disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Schizoaffective disorder
The symptoms include hyperactivity that includes restlessness and an inability to relax, struggling to maintain concentration and attention, having outbursts, being irritable, and having a short temper. They also include spontaneous emotional overreactions, mood swings, and impulsivity. There are also a lot of conditions that can coexist with ADHD in one person, including:
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Learning disabilities
- Tourette syndrome
How ADHD Cases are Evaluated for Greenwood, South Carolina, Disability Claims
For children, ADHD is a recognized by the Social Security Administration under the listing, 112.11 for organic brain disorders. To meet the criteria for this listing, the child has to have the following symptoms and characteristics:
- Inattention at developmentally inappropriate level
All of these things have to be documented by a physician and must be readily apparent, significant, and apparently impairing to the child’s functioning. While some believe that an adult can meet the listing for childhood ADHD if they were diagnosed with the disorder as a child, it is far more likely for an adult to be approved in a Greenwood, South Carolina, disability claim if they meet the criteria of another mental impairment listing, such as any of the ones mentioned above that are either similar to ADHD or coexist with ADHD in adults and children. For this reason, it is important to get a thorough mental health evaluation before attempting to get disability benefits for ADHD or anything else as an adult.
ADHD is considered to be a developmental disorder instead of a psychiatric disorder. The listing that addresses this for Social Security specifies that the symptoms and characteristics have to be out of the norm for what is age appropriate for the toddler stage up to the age of 18. The specific functional criteria address the following age
appropriate (or not age appropriate) issues:
- Social functioning
- Communication skills
- Maintaining concentration
- Cognitive functioning
All of these issues can be measured in children through the observations of medical professionals, parents, and educators, as well as through academic testing. When it comes to adults, these issues must be evaluated by medical professionals and their actual history of working and functioning as an adult. When an adult has ADHD and when that interferes with their ability to function in a work environment, in social settings, in relationships, and more, then all of these can contribute to disability. However, because there are no specific listing criteria for adults with ADHD, things can be far more difficult and complicated when it comes to getting a diagnosis and disability in Greenwood, South Carolina.
What to Do When Seeking Greenwood, South Carolina, Disability for Adult ADHD
If you have ADHD as an adult and you wish to apply for disability in Greenwood, South Carolina, then you’re going to need ample evidence that you have the condition and that the condition has prevented you from working at what is known as substantial gainful activity or SGA. This is the limit of what you can earn for a one year period to qualify for disability. You can also file for disability if you have reason to believe that your condition will prevent you from working for at least one year.
If you were diagnosed with and treated for ADHD in childhood, then you have a better chance of getting disability for ADHD as an adult. Yet, even if you were not diagnosed and treated for ADHD as a child, it is still possible to succeed in a Greenwood, South Carolina, disability case with a diagnosis of adult ADHD. You’ll need to have evidence and notes concerning how ADHD has impacted your ability to function and to earn money with substantial gainful activity. Gather any medical documents and evaluations, all evidence of your attempts to work, go to school, and otherwise function, and any other notes and evidence that you may have concerning your diagnosis and ability to function.
What Does Social Security Disability in Greenwood, South Carolina, Focus on with ADHD Patients?
When it comes to Greenwood, South Carolina, disability cases involving ADHD, you need to know that Social Security focuses on your ability to function more than your actual impairments. Thus, if you have any of the following limitations, they will impact your case:
- Inability to remember things
- Inability to complete assignments
- Inability to stay on task
- Inability to get along with others
- Inability to function in social situations
Yet, your age, your skills, your past work history, and your education will also be taken into account. They will look at what you are capable of doing, in spite of your diagnosis to determine your medical vocational disability and whether or not you qualify for disability benefits.
Contact the Greenwood, South Carolina, disability attorneys at Ayers, Smithdeal, & Bettis to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options as an adult with ADHD.