ADHD and a Claim for Disability Benefits


"Is it true that someone with ADD qualifies for Supplemental Security Income?"


Having attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) is not an automatic qualification for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but a documented diagnosis can be helpful if the condition and the impairments are severe enough. ADHD is included in the category of Listed Impairments, under the SSI guidelines. Full documentation about the initial diagnosis and its severity will help substantiate your claim.


ADHD 101
Everything You Need to Know

Note: The application is complicated, but the Social Security website ( explains the process. Another option is to involve your practitioner, who may have worked with other ADHD patients to fill out these forms.

I would gather all documentation about the diagnosis, by a psychiatrist and/or neuro-psychologist, as well as any paperwork or — in the case of a child — school records that establish the severity of the condition. There is no guarantee that SSI services will be granted, but having a clear paper trail to document your claim will prove helpful.

Since Robert Tudisco was diagnosed with ADHD, he has researched and written extensively on the subject of special education law and disability advocacy, and now specializes in the area as a practicing attorney. He is a former Executive Director of the Edge Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides specialized coaches for students with ADHD and Executive Functioning Impairment. He has served on the National Board of Directors of CHADD and is a former Vice President of ADDA. He is a frequent resource for the media, including CBS News, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, ABC News, The BBC, The Today Show, CNN, USA Today, and The Seattle Times.
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