Monday, September 3, 2012

Social Security Benefits For ADHD Children

Many disabled Americans receive Social Security benefits or SSI. All types of different disabilities both mental and physical can qualify for these benefits, as long as the meet the Social Security Administrations (SSA) guidelines for receiving them. These benefits include income of up to $500/monthly as well as possible medicaid. Someone told me that you can receive these benefits for a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). So, I started to wonder if this was true, looked into it and found some interesting information...

After looking into different articles as well as SSA policies and guidelines, I found that it is indeed possible to be eligible for and receive Social Security benefits for your ADHD child. Is it easy to get these benefits? No not really though its used to be much easier.

Can I receive SSI benefits for my ADHD child?

Up until 1996,ADHD and other such conditions were in a Social Security regulations category called the "Listing of Impairments". In this section benefits were automatically granted if the parent(s) could provide adequate documentation from the child's medical/psychological provider confirming the child's diagnose(s). There fore, it was fairly easy to start receiving SSI benefits for your ADHD child. However, in August of 1996 that changed when "The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act" (PRWORA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
The signing of PRWORA

Since the PRWORA came into law these maladaptive behavior categories have been eliminated, which mainly consisted of emotional/educational disabilities including ADHD. This means that the PRWORA of 1996 prevents children with ADHD as their only disability from automatically qualifying  for SSI benefits. Though this doesn't mean that your ADHD child won't be eligible for benefits, it means that the ADHD needs to be severe and limiting.

To receive SSI benefits for your ADHD child he/she must have all three ADHD symptoms that are severe (you can read about these in my article The Three Subtypes of ADHD). These symptoms include severe inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. The child's symptoms also must cause them limitations due to their ADHD. There are actually two set of conditions to receive SSI benefits from ADHD.

Children ages 3-18: The child must have severe difficulty or limitations compared to other kids their age in at least two basic areas. Which means the child's ADHD severely affects his/her capability to socialize, learn, develop, play or engage in everyday activities that's age appropriate. This is determined without any consideration for special structure or support, meaning they consider how the child would behave/function in a typical class without help. 
You also have to provide documents from professionals to support the severity of he child's ADHD. Any of the following documents would be acceptable:
  • A medical diagnosis from a Doctor or Psychiatrist
  • Treatment plans or notes written by a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist/counselor
  • Current and history information from parents and teachers including teacher reports/evaluations.
  • Standardized testing, achievement testing, or IQ test results.
Children under 3: Children this young have an extremely small chance to be approved due to their ADHD, though the requirements are relatively the same.

How can I file and how much will I get?

I believe you can receive payments for up to $500 monthly for your child. However, it all depends on the determination of your child's disability and needs.

As for filing, you can apply online at the Social Security website by clicking here or by calling 1-800-771-1213. You'll need to fill out a medical and functional history about your child. They will also require each of your child's medical and psychological professionals including counseling, speech services etc names, address and visit dates for the past year, medical records and test results, treatment records/plans, treatments and anything else pertaining to his/her health, and a complete copy of the child's school records including IEP, assesments and testing results. (Please keep copies of anything and everything you send to the Social Security Administration because they often tend to lose things easily.

Are there any income limits?

SSI has strict income/assets limits and the parents income will be counted partially towards the child's income limit. Also, older children of working age can not earn more than $1,010 monthly from working.

What if we get denied?

To be honest pretty much everyone who applies for Social Security benefits gets denied at first. It is weird but true for some reason, but not always.If you do get denied you can request a reconsideration or second opinion where a new team will review your child's case, during which they will want to see and speak with your child. They will then have a formal meeting at which you may or may not need to attend.

So we found out that you can indeed file or Social Security benefits for your ADHD child and that it is possible to get approved and receive benefits. Now, as parents, families or friends of an ADHD child I'd like to know what you think so give us your opinion below...Do you think parents should be able to receive SSI for their ADHD child(ren)? Do you agree that approval should depend on the severity of their ADHD symptoms?

For more on receiving SSI benefits for your ADHD child you can visit the Social Security Administration website.



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  2. Learning to recognize Adhd symptoms can help to determine when to seek professional help. These symptoms need to be present for at least 6 months before someone is diagnosed with ADHD.

  3. What, praytell, is the SSI for? Aside from ADD medication, most of which have a generic form, what are people getting financial assistance for? If someone has a crippling disability - mentally or physically - they receive SSI in order to supplement their income and help carry the heavy costs of treatment, medication, and various things that must be purchased as a result of the person's disability. It isn't right to take money just because you can get it. There MUST be extenuating financial burdens incurred by medical NECESSITIES that in no way can be afforded by the individual. Do people realize how screwed this country is economically?

    1. My thoughts exactly! I'm here perusing these sites to figure out why in the heck the 10 yr old boy that I am Guardian Ad Litem for is receiving this entitlement... there are no additional costs that are not already paid for by the government. His parents both are the cause of his mental, emotional and physical issues - which is why he has been removed from their care. He's a bright child and is doing well in his classes... being gradually mainlined into regular courses... receiving state funding counseling and being cared for by a relative. This is absurd. Since when does the government owe everyone that doesn't have perfect health or circumstance a check -- paid for by Me and You!

  4. As a mother with 2 Severe adhd children let me tell you it is beyond exhausting. Their impulses are a safety issue. They need to have "eyes" on all times. They will climb extremely tall trees, run down the road, walk into woods etc. They can verbally tell you why yhongs sre wrong and/or dangerous but :literally act on impulse and think after the fact! You cannot find help in regards to watching your child because most people cannot handle the excessive energy. Their snacks are much more expensive need to have several outlets for their energy. Gym memberships, sports etc. Don't forget the parent needs to assist and be with the child. All witch becomes expensive. I personally drive one hour to and from my childs pyschiatrist apts. If my child were to go to school for one day without medicine she will br sent home. The school can't handle her and she is a 46 pound 7 yr old...who has iep and is in special education.... and you yhink wr are money hungry?? I am offended. I do not receive benefits of any kind, love my kids mote than anything. I will say that I am my childs advocate I have to protect her from ignorant judgmental people like you.

    1. i agree with you. i tried to apply for SSI and was denied for both my boys. it is very tiresome with two kids that are ADHD, and you are your only kids advocate.

  5. Having a child with ADHD is very hard to control their impulses have them goin and goin. My son is now 7yrs old but we noticed the problem she. He went to kindergarten and his teacher complained and complained and now he had been in the first grade and this teacher is saying the same thing and he also has to repeat the first grade over again... I hope I'm rewarded my benefits it will surely help me out.... And yes I think kids with ADHD should receive their benefits......i also am willing to try the medicine.....

  6. I also have a child with ADHD. It has affected his learning ability. (He had to repeat the 2nd grade, due to his level of inattention, and impulsiveness.) I finally agreed to have him placed on medication, mid-way through the school year, last year. This has helped him tremedously. He is now able to stay on track with the other kids in his class. I was actually notified that he has scored so high in his reading, that he is the best reader in his current grade. this was not the case, prior to placing him on meds. I have not requested SSI, nor will I do so. He is my child, and my responsibility. I do not understand the need to provide SSI to children with ADHD. They need to be appropriately tested and treated, whether via behavioral training, and/or medication. I do not see the need for SSI payments. This is an extra cost to tax payers.

  7. I have a son (8)years old that is ADHD/ODD and a daughter (13) that is ADHD. I just applied for the benefits for my son. My daughter takes meds that seem to help a lot before she did take them she was using bad language,fighting, and using items in the house to hurt family and people at school. She would get sent home from school every other day, running through the school and fighting teachers. As far as my son yes we need the money he is on 6 different meds just to get him through the day and yes he needs them. So if we were able to get the money I would invest in treatments to help him with social skills, not fighting and learning to grow and be an adult in this world. I do agree with the other mother about getting the benefit but it is all in the way you use it I have 4 kids and having two that are the kind of go with the flow kids and two that are living on an impulse, I does take a small toll on a single mother that works a full time job. So for Ms. Krista (sorry don't know if your married)I understand that you and the other lady feels as though you two are paying for my child but I pay taxes also so even if this sounds like Im being a smartass but Thank you for giving the extra help to give my child a chance to live a normal life just like you and I. What is it the old saying "It takes a village to raise a child" So instead of you showing so much anger toward people that get the benefit you should just think you are helping a child be a real adult. Do you feel the same way when people ask for help like "Feed the Children", "Breast Cancer patients"? And for the person with the 7 year old it is going to be ok we are strong parents and in the end of all our teachings our child will be in the same ranking as anyone else.

  8. Your taxes pay now or they pay later. Kids with ADHD that are not getting support and treatment are the kids that will end up in jail when they are older because they cannot control their impulsivity. I don not receive any govt money but I had to quit my job because the amount of times I have had to pick him up at school and take him to dr and therapy appts. I will shortly be out of money but my husband makes $28k a year which for a family of 3 is too much to qualify for any welfare. In the meantime I may have to declare bankruptcy because we now do not make enough money to pay our bills.

  9. I am the guardian of my neice and nephew who both have adhd and the boy has odd and sensory processing issues. Our life is completely exhausting and his behavior determines everything we do, everywhere we go. He has been sent home from school numerous times and of course I have to leave work to care for him. He can be a danger to himself and others by his impulsive behavior. The teachers do not know how to deal with him. The state placed him in our care and we gladly accepted because he is family and we love him. His condition affects everything about his life and limits many things for him. So the SSI money is needed because it really helps out with his care. I know not all kids have this severe of ADHD and some dont warrant getting the money. But there are those, like my nephew who really doneed it

  10. I have a 8 year old that is diagnosis ADHD with Conduct Behavior Issues. That touches why many children wand up in the Prison system with this condition. If the government does not assist with the parents while their young the prison system will just make money off our children. I had to quit my job as a too, I would leave work to get my son from school for bad behavior and twice he was suspended from school. I got fed up and now I home school him and dedicate my time to him. He goes to a behavioral therapist and psychiatrist once a week and he have to keep busy all the time. He mind has to be stimulated. So if it is not a app on the phone, the playstation, outside playing, the YMCA. I am exhausted but I do it. And he is non-medicated.