The article on the LDA website Learning Disabilities and Social Security Disability Benefits helps to explain the qualifiers. Specifically it says… To qualify for disability benefits from the SSA, you will have to prove that you are disabled according to their criteria. That usually means proving that you have a condition that is either listed in the Blue Book and meets the SSA’s Blue Book criteria or that you have a condition that is equal to a section in the Blue Book.. There is a section that provides an example of a diagnosis of ADHD as an adult. It says…You could receive benefits with ADHD as an adult, if you’re able to prove that you have had ADHD since childhood, and ADHD has impaired your ability to complete schoolwork and to be gainfully employed as an adult.
You may be able to find a person in your area who can serve as a job coach or mentor depending on where you live and the availability of resources in your area. Here are some resources you may want to ask about finding that kind of support where you live:
It can be helpful to first assist the person in determining
what his strengths are. A good starting question is, “What do you do
well?” That may be a hard question for him to answer at first, but
you can make suggestions based on what you know about him
already. Ask him what he likes to do in his spare time, and what skills
are involved in that? Is he creative? Is he a good listener? Is he reliable? Does he tell interesting stories? Is he artistic? Does he know how to build and/or fix things? Is he a good cook? Once you determine some basic areas of strengths, it may also help to set some short-term goals (one or two weeks) that use those strengths to succeed. Longer-term goals can be set later.
It may also be helpful to introduce him to some of the new, affordable (or free!) assistive technology that will help him to function better with tasks that he has difficulty with due to his learning disability. There is a lot of information about assistive technology at https://ldaamerica.org/category/technology/technology-for-adults/.
Typical strategies and accommodations that may help adults with LD include reading out loud, audio texts, color-coding for organization, use of graphic organizers (charts, diagrams, etc.), having opportunities to re-state information in one’s own words, and one-on- one instruction in school or job training. Assistive technology (AT) is also helpful for adults with LD – at home, school, and work. See LDA’s information about AT at https://ldaamerica.org/tools-for-life/
Difficulty with spelling is one of many characteristics of learning disabilities; however, poor spelling alone does not identify the presence of a learning disability. If you are interested in determining whether or not you have a learning disability, read about the evaluation process at https://ldaamerica.org/adult-learning-disability-assessment-process/
The term “learning disability” was first used by Dr. Sam Kirk in a paper he submitted to a conference in 1963. That term was widely accepted and used in civil rights legislation and the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) until 2013, when the DSM-5 replaced the term “learning disability” with “learning disorder.” However, most people still use the term “learning disability,” primarily because civil rights legislation that protects people with disabilities uses the term “learning disability.”
Yes, learning disabilities are lifelong, so any learning disability diagnosed in childhood would still be present when the child is an adult. However, the learning disabilities evaluation is only valid for 3-5 years, depending on how it needs to be used. If you need to submit documentation of your learning disability to request accommodations in postsecondary school or in the workplace, you will most likely need to obtain a new evaluation of your learning disability from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist.