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Is a child with ADHD entitled to SSI benefits?

ADHD can seriously impede a child's ability to learn and function in the day-to-day. For many parents this can mean additional expenses for tutors, education, and personal care. Children in California and nationwide who suffer from disabilities are often entitled to Supplemental Security Income to offset these financial needs. The cash benefit is available to those who are disabled and who have a limited work history.

To qualify for SSI, an applicant is "means-tested," meaning that those who are entitled to benefits must have severe disabilities and little or no income. Some conditions are so severe that an applicant may be approved automatically with medical documentation. Determining eligibility in other cases, including ADHD, can be complicated and obtaining benefits depends on the severity of any condition.

Children with ADHD may be awarded benefits if the signs and symptoms meet certain standards of the limitations list. The list is extensive and the medical problems that a child has must be very close to the listed impairment, affecting the child's ability to function in one or two of the following:

  • self care
  • health and physical well being
  • acquiring or using information
  • attending and competing tasks
  • interacting and relating to others
  • moving about and manipulating objects

Collecting benefits for a child with ADHD can be complicated because a child could have the condition without qualifying symptoms. When determining eligibility, the SSA will review t activities a child can or cannot perform and which activities are restricted compared to other children.

Nationwide, roughly 78 percent of SSI claims based on ADHD are denied. An experienced disabilities attorney can best review your case, assess a child's condition and collect appropriate medical documentation to demonstrate eligibility in your case.

Source: Delmarva Now, "Can ADHD children get SSI benefits?" Robert McCraig, Oct. 14, 2012

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