ADHD Disability Allowance

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a recognised medical diagnosis. Social Security will consider ADHD as a disabling condition that will affect an adult's ability to work or a child's ability to function normally. Although similar, of course, ADHD is a different diagnosis from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The hyperactivity, fidgeting, possible outbursts and easy distracting makes treatment and therapy options different than those for attention deficits without hyperactive personality traits.

Disability Process

Social Security will process the disability claim and make a decision based on the claimant's medical condition, ability to function and capabilities with the condition. This decision is based on medical records from treatment providers, education records, interviews with the claimant and possible interviews with employers. Social Security will use the gathered evidence to make a decision based on federal regulations covering the ADHD diagnosis. Both adults and children are covered under Social Security disability guidelines.


ADHD in adults makes concentration and attention to detail difficult. Social Security recognises a person's ability to work as being able to stay on task without supervision for up to two hours. If the ADHD prevents this normal work routine, then the person making a disability claim (or "claimant") will have an assessment of their ability to function. This results in an determination of what Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) a claimant has with the ADHD diagnosis.


Although children are not expected to work, Social Security will determine the child's normal functional capacity with ADHD in school, at home with parents and family, with other children and in other normal social settings. A determination of the child's RFC with ADHD will indicate the child' ability to function with the diagnosis.


An ADHD diagnosis means the claimant (both adults and children) have seen a doctor or therapist. ADHD is treatable with medication. The claimant's RFC will be based on ability to function with medication taken as proscribed. Compliance with treatment is an important part of the disability determination process. If medication is prescribed and the claimant does not comply, it will impact the disability claim negatively.

Consultative examination

If after all available records are gathered and Social Security cannot make a definitive decision based on the available evidence, the claimant will be scheduled to attend a consultative examination with a doctor. Social Security will pay for this exam and also pays for any travel involved for the claimant to attend and return from the examination. Compliance with this requirement is mandatory to complete the disability determination claim process.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Wesley Tucker is a lifelong southerner whose politics are objective, whose sports are many and whose avocations range from aviation to anthropology to history and all forms of media. With a master's degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina College of Journalism, Tucker has been a writer for more than 30 years, with work ranging from news reports to feature stories.

Try our awesome promobar!