Disability Lawyer

ADHD and Social Security Disability for children.

Social Security evaluates certain conditions for children under different listings.  Some conditions are combined like anxiety type disorders are under 112.06.  For the condition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Social Security has a separate listing.  Social Security evaluates ADHD under listing 112.11. Listing 112.11 requires evidence of inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.  The required evidence may be found in medical records, school records, police reports, teacher reports, teacher questionnaires, and the child behavior at home.  The parent/guardian may testify about the claimant’s (the minor child’s) condition. Listing 112.11 specifically requires marked inattention, marked impulsiveness, and marked hyperactivity.  In addition, the claimant would need to show  marked impairment in functioning in at least two of the following  areas:  (1) marked impairments in age appropriate cognitive/communicative functioning; (2) marked impairment in age appropriate social functioning; (3) marked impairment in age appropriate personal functioning; and (4) marked difficulties in concentration, persistence, and pace. First, Social Security will evaluate the claimant’s condition for ADHD.  Social Security will evaluate:  (1) whether or not the claimant is taking medication(s) for ADHD; (2) whether the claimant is seeing a mental health psychiatrist or mental health therapist, (3) who diagnosed the claimant with ADHD; (4) the claimant’s condition before treatment began and the claimant’s condition with treatment; (5) what the teacher observes about the claimant’s condition in school; and (6) how the claimant’s symptoms affect the claimant’s condition.  Every person’s responses to treatments and medications  is different, and as a result, it is important for Social Security to evaluate the child compared to  an average  child in the claimant’s age group. Secondly, Social Security will rate the severity of the claimant’s condition.  Most conditions do not meet or equal a listing.  However, some claimant’s conditions do meet or equal the listing. It is important to note that a diagnosis alone is not enough to meet Social Security’s requirement for disability.  Social Security requires consistent inappropriate behavior for the claimant’s age group.  Something that is inappropriate for a thirteen year old, is not necessary inappropriate in a four year old.  As a result, it is important to pay attention to the claimant’s age. In order to be marked in Social Security’s requirement, a claimant’s condition needs to be severe.  In other words, the medication, treatment, and special accommodations in school (Individual Education Plan), is not enough to help the claimant to be close to average.   A lot of times the claimant will be held back in school because of the claimant’s behavior. The claimant  often will  have trouble with organization, finishing homework, unable to sit during  class, often interrupts class,  will have trouble focusing, and will have trouble interacting appropriately with fellow classmates.  As a result, the claimant is often in special education classes due to the claimant’s behavior.  In addition, the claimant will often needs one on one assistance to function in school. In conclusion, a diagnosis of ADHD is not enough to meet Social Security requirements.  It is important to get proper documentation for the diagnosis and to continue to get treatment for the diagnosis.  It is also important for the claimant to be on medications to help with the condition.  If the parent/guardian refuses to give the claimant medication, it is hard for Social Security and the claimant’s doctor to see the severity of the condition.  As a result, treat and treat often with mental health professionals  and contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer to help guide you through the process.