Many children who have a limited attention span have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), and if their disorder includes impulsiveness or hyperactivity, they may be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both ADD and ADHD can have severe impacts on a child's ability to learn, as well as an adult's ability to work.
Disability insurance is designed to compensate someone if they are disabled and unable to work. But does ADD or ADHD qualify as a disability?
ADD, ADHD, and the SSA
ADD and ADHD are listed as qualifying mental disorders for social security disability benefits for children. For adults, the Social Security Administration doesn't list specific disorders that are eligible for disability. Instead, eligibility for disability benefits is determined by their specific level of impairment and whether the impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as obtaining and keeping a job.
For both children and adults, it may be difficult to get disability for ADD or ADHD — only the most severe cases of attention deficit disorders are approved for disability.
If you have disability insurance, you should file a claim with your disability insurer. If you don't already have a disability policy, you can check to see if you are eligible for Social Security Disability.
Disability Insurance and SSDI
Be aware that private disability insurance policies (which can cover both short and long term disability) and Social Security Disability Insurance are two separate programs. With private disability insurance, the benefits can vary depending on the type of plan. Also, SSDI only covers workers above a certain age and caps benefits at a specific amount.
Disability insurance is also different from workers' compensation insurance, which only applies if you are injured at work. Normally, workers' comp benefits are the only option for work-related injuries, but you could be eligible for disability benefits if those benefits are higher than the workers' comp. You may also receive disability benefits if you're workers' comp claim is being contested or has been denied.
Disability coverage and benefits can be complicated. If you have questions about your disability coverage, or if you've had a disability claim denied, you may want to consult with an experienced disability attorney in your area.