Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is an older term for a condition now known as the inattentive type of ADHD. Adults and children may qualify for disability benefits for ADD when they meet the qualification standards. Obtaining Social Security benefits with an ADD diagnosis isn’t easy, and working with an experienced attorney is beneficial.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Los Angeles Disability Attorney

At Disability Advocates Group, our Los Angeles attorneys have helped many clients with ADD obtain the Social Security benefits they need and deserve. After learning more about your case at your free case evaluation, we will help you understand your options. If you are eligible for benefits, we will handle your application from start to finish, keeping you informed every step of the way. Contact Disability Advocates Group today to schedule your free case evaluation. 

Understanding ADD

ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. The term ADD is no longer used by mental health professionals. Instead, Attention Deficit Disorder is used when diagnosing a person with ADD symptoms. ADHD is a chronic neuropsychiatric condition affecting children and adults. Currently, the DSM-5 recognizes three subtypes of Attention Deficit Disorder: inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined type. 

Some people continue using the term ADD to indicate a form of ADHD that doesn’t include the symptom of hyperactivity. Those with ADD, or inattentive type ADHD, generally don’t have symptoms that people with hyperactive ADHD have. Symptoms of ADD include the following:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty sustaining attention
  • Failing to pay attention to details
  • Frequently losing things
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Getting easily distracted
  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble following instructions
  • Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Often seeming not to be listening

Applying for Benefits with Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD/ADD is most often diagnosed associated with children. However, a significant number of adults continue to suffer symptoms of ADD well into adulthood. 

Further, many adults remain undiagnosed with the condition. When ADD symptoms continue into adulthood, they can interfere with a person’s ability to find and keep gainful employment. Adults who cannot work because of ADD symptoms can apply for Social Security benefits. 

When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you will need to apply with the diagnosis of ADHD, even if you usually call your condition ADD. ADHD is a condition listed as a qualifying mental disorder in the “Blue Book.” Claims examiners will consider the specific level of impairment you have due to your diagnosis. They will also consider whether your ADD symptoms substantially limit one or more major life events, such as acquiring and keeping a job. 

Is Prescription Medication Required to Obtain Disability Benefits for ADD?

From a strictly legal standpoint, it shouldn’t matter whether an adult or child is taking medication such as Ritalin, Adderall, or Vyvanse to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. In reality, claims examiners are less likely to grant an applicant benefits when he or she isn’t on medication. The claims examiner or administrative law judge may determine the condition has improved significantly if the applicant is no longer on medication, denying the claim. 

When an applicant has never been on medication, the examiner may determine that the condition is being controlled enough that medication isn’t warranted. It’s possible to qualify for benefits without taking medication, but working with a doctor and showing that you’re trying to improve your symptoms will increase the likelihood of success.

Benefits for Children with ADD

Many children with a limited attention span struggle in school. They may have failing grades or be unable to listen to teachers effectively. Children with these symptoms may be diagnosed with ADHD – inattentive type, commonly called ADD. When a child applies for disability, the Social Security Administration will see if the child is engaged in substantial gainful activity. If the child is working, the claim will be denied. 

If the child isn’t working, Social Security will determine whether the child has a severe disability. A severe disability creates significant limitations on what the child can do. ADHD is listed as a qualifying condition for children, but your child may still qualify even if they don’t have an ADHD/ADD diagnosis. When your child’s impairment is functionally equivalent to ADHD/ADD, he or she may still qualify. Examiners look to the following domains to determine whether marked or extreme definitions exist in one or more of the following:

  • Acquiring and using information
  • Health and physical well-being
  • Moving around and manipulating objects
  • Caring for self
  • Interacting and relating to others
  • Attending to and completing tasks

Evidence Needed to Prove an ADD Claim

There isn’t a singular diagnostic test for ADHD/ADD. As a result, it’s essential to have strong supporting evidence when you apply for benefits. The claims examiner will want to see written medical documentation with details about your symptoms. You can include sources such as your employer, former employer, teacher, and doctor. An application for benefits based on an ADD diagnosis should consist of the following:

  • Records from a psychiatrist or psychologist showing a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD
  • Written documentation supporting your diagnosis
  • Written documentation of the medication or therapy you’ve tried & the outcome
  • Records from your previous employer showing your difficulty with concentration

You will also need to include a medical source statement and a detailed form from your psychiatrist or therapist. The psychiatrist or therapist must indicate their own opinion regarding the severity of your condition and how it affects your daily activities. The more specific your doctor is when filling out this form, the better. The attorneys at Disability Advocates Group will help you gather all the necessary documentation and guide you through the process.

Discuss Your ADD Disability Benefits Case with an Experienced Attorney

For children and adults, obtaining disability benefits for ADHD or ADD is challenging. Generally, only the most severe cases are approved by Social Security Claims examiners. When you work with Disability Advocates Group, you can rest assured that we will help you submit an accurate and thorough application. 

Our team will gather medical evidence showing the severity of your ADD symptoms, increasing the likelihood that you’ll be approved for benefits. If your claim has been denied, we can help you appeal it. Contact Disability Advocates Group to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more.