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Children with ADHD may struggle to qualify for SSI

Supplemental Security Income, one of the types of benefits offered by the government as part of Social Security, is a cash benefit for the disabled. It is a means-tested program that requires specific eligibility in order to qualify, which is great for people who have little-to-no income and a limited work history. However, meeting the requirements can be a challenge for people with some impairments, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly referred to as ADHD.

For children, SSI keeps to a specific list of impairments and symptoms. ADHD is listed, however, the list of limitations is long, and children can have ADHD and not be entitled to benefits if their specific symptoms are not listed. Typically, the symptoms must be nearly exact in order to qualify for SSI, or there must be extreme limitation in the child's ability to function.

There are six key areas of limitation that SSI takes into consideration: acquisition and use of information, competing tasks, interactions with and relating to others, movement and manipulation of objects, self-care and health and physical well-being. If a child is limited in their ability to perform in at least one of these areas, as demonstrated in an evaluation by Social Security, they may be able to qualify for SSI.

There are nearly two pages worth of limitations on ADHD in order to qualify for SSI. For families who are seeking help with the care of their child, they may not know where to turn for representation. Working with an attorney experienced in the Social Security system can give counsel and offer options for the best interests of the child and the family.

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

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