If you have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you may find it very difficult to work if your ADHD is severe. In fact, 4% of the American population has some form of ADHD. ADHD is a recognized disability under The Americans with Disabilities Act, but there are specific criteria that you must meet in order to receive benefits.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is a chronic neuropsychiatric disorder that affects a person’s inability to focus, stay on task, and remember directions. While this diagnosis is more common in children, and many children learn to adapt, some adults that struggle with ADHD into adulthood find it very hard to work.
Symptoms of ADHD
The symptoms of ADHD might seem trivial when a person is young. As employees, the consequences of these symptoms could be dangerous and even fatal if not appropriately managed. Symptoms include:
- Trouble concentration;
- Paying attention;
- Staying organized;
- Remembering details;
- Managing impulsivity; and
- Following directions.
Diagnosis and Treatment
ADHD does not have a stand-alone diagnostic test. A diagnosis is concluded through evaluations conducted by your doctor and psychiatrist or psychologist. The statements of others who have witnessed your interactions are also used. There is no cure for ADHD. Treatment plans can include medication to manage your symptoms, cognitive therapy, and coping skills.
Applying for Long Term Disability with ADHD
When your ADHD is so severe that you can no longer work, you need to consider applying for long-term disability through your employer.
Check Your Policy
Although the Americans with Disabilities Act classifies ADHD as a disability, you need to check your long-term disability policy to see if it’s covered. If you are part of a group policy through your employer, you need to obtain a copy from your human resources department. If you have an individual policy, request a copy from your provider. When asking your HR department for a copy of your policy, it’s best to do so in writing. Employers who suspect that you are planning to file a claim commonly delay giving employees the documents they need. This delay can mean you miss time-sensitive deadlines. By requesting in writing, you have documentation of the date requested, and your employer must respond in a timely manner. Likewise, do not ask your employer if they think you would qualify for long-term disability with ADHD. They are likely to say no, but they are not experts in disability policy, so don’t let this deter you from filing.
Provide Supporting Medical Evidence
When applying for long-term disability, your claim will rely heavily on medical evidence. Since ADHD is considered a mental disorder, evidence may be limited. For your claim to be approved, you will need to prove:
- You have an official ADHD diagnosis from your doctor.
- Your symptoms are so severe that they are impairing your ability to work.
In addition to your medical files and psychologist reports, you will need to provide a Mental Residual Functional Capacity report to the insurance company. This report is completed by your doctor and details your ability to work given your disability.
Your employment file can also support ADHD. If your employer has documented that you are not able to focus, not following directions, and distracted despite your best efforts to do your job, this may help your claim.
Consult An Attorney
Since you are so limited by the appeals process, consider consulting a disability attorney very early on. An experienced disability attorney can help you stay on top of your deadlines, help you gather your documents, assist you during field interviews, and give you guidance that will help you get your claim approved.
The experienced disability attorneys at the Ortiz Law Firm can help you through every step of the process, from initial application to potential appeals. They only get paid if you win your case. You can seek help without worrying about upfront costs or unexpected bills. Our law experts will focus on your case so you can focus on your illness.
The Ortiz Law Firm offers a free consultation with no obligation to use our firm. During the call, you can ask any questions you have regarding your letter to your employer, and we will answer them. The Ortiz Law Firm has successfully represented people in disability cases across the United States. To see how we can help you win your long-term disability case, call us at (888) 321- 8131.