You may qualify for disability due to ADHD, provided the evidence shows that you cannot work due to this illness, and you meet the severity standard set by the Social Security Administration.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), are common illnesses that effect many Americans, both adults and children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 5.4 million children suffer from ADHD/ADD in the United States. In addition to children, it estimated that 8 million adults have ADHD/ADD. This is because a substantial number of children who have ADHD/ADD, continue to suffer from the illness into adulthood.
What is ADHD/ADD?
ADHD and ADD are actually two (2) different illnesses that share many of the same symptoms. The primary difference between ADHD and ADD is that ADHD involves hyperactivity, while a person with ADD may or may not be hyperactive. The symptoms are so similar that many medical professionals now say there is no difference between ADHD and ADD.
The American Psychological Association describes ADHD and ADD as behavioral illnesses that interfere with the ability to focus one’s attention. In addition to lack of focus and concentration, symptoms also include an inability to plan and perform tasks and an inability to get along with others.
People who suffer from ADHD/ADD may also have a learning disability. This combination significantly interferes with a person’s ability to maintain employment.
Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD may cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. Some of the more common ADHD symptoms include:
• Difficulty concentrating
• Lack of organization
• Failure to complete tasks on time and general tardiness
• Emotional and behavioral problems
• Memory problems
• Difficulty maintaining employment
• Explosive anger
• Easily frustrated and lacks patience
• Talks too much
• Inability to adapt to change
There are other symptoms of ADHD and ADD, but these are the more common symptoms.
Treatment for ADHD and ADD
Treatment for attention deficit disorder usually involves medication. These medicines are usually psychostimulants that contain amphetamine. More frequently prescribed ADHD medication includes Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta. These medications are generally effective at controlling the symptoms of ADHD.
Effects of ADHD/ADD
ADHD can take a devastating toll on a person's ability to function. Difficulty concentrating, disorganization and the inability to complete tasks on time are major disruptions to one’s activities of daily living. The symptoms caused by ADHD/ADD can make it difficult, if not impossible, to hold a job.
How is ADHD/ADD diagnosed?
In order to make a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD in a child, the doctor must gather a detailed medical history from several sources. Because there is no lab test or machine that can show whether a person has attention deficit disorder, the doctor must rely on what other people tell him about the patient’s symptoms of ADHD.
The two (2) primary sources of this information are the child’s parents and teachers. These are the people who have the most interaction with the child, and are considered the best source of information for the doctor. In order to get a complete picture of the child’s history with ADHD, the doctor may ask the parents and teachers to answer written questions about the child’s condition.
Diagnosing Adult ADHD
Diagnosing ADHD in an adult should follow essentially the same course. Instead of parents and teachers, the doctor should talk to a spouse or significant other to learn about the patient’s symptoms. The doctor might also obtain the adult patient’s school records to learn of any issues that would indicate the patient suffered from attention deficit disorder as a child.
Doctors may also have the patient take a standardized written test that is designed to detect whether the patient has ADHD. Many medical professionals place great stock in the results of these tests.
Disability for ADHD in Mississippi
Getting on disability for ADHD in Mississippi first requires a diagnosis of ADHD by a doctor or qualified health care provider. However, a diagnosis of ADHD is not enough. In order to receive disability for ADHD, there must be proof of how the symptoms of ADHD impair the ability to function.
ADHD Disability Claims for Children
To get a child on disability for ADHD in Mississippi, there must be proof that the child has unusual degrees of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. The medical documentation must show “marked” inattention, “marked” impulsiveness, and “marked” hyperactivity. In disability cases, the term “marked” means that the inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity must be worse than moderate, but need not be extreme in order to qualify for disability for ADHD.
In addition to showing marked inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, there must also be proof that the child suffers from at least two of the following four effects of ADHD:
(1) Marked impairment in cognitive/communicative functioning (thinking and communicating). This must be based on findings by a doctor or other medical personnel, but should also take into account information provided by the parents or other persons who know the child. Doctors may also rely on the results of psychological tests in deciding whether this symptom is present.
(2) Marked impairment in social functioning as shown by medical findings, history provided by people familiar with the child, and the results of any standardized testing.
(3) Marked impairment in personal functioning, documented by medical findings, history and testing.
(4) Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence or pace.
Requirements for Adult ADHD and Disability
An adult must meet the same requirements as a child. However, the adult claimant must go one step further and prove that he had symptoms of ADHD as a child. The doctor must also attempt to rule out or exclude any other possible medical problems before making a diagnosis of ADHD.
Getting on disability for ADHD in Mississippi is not easy, but it’s also not impossible. If you or a loved one has been rendered disabled by ADHD/ADD, please contact us to discuss your case with an experienced Jackson ADHD disability lawyer.