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My claim to ADHD is legitimate (in the eyes of the government) and I have a prescription for a controlled substance. Amphetamine is like a mental performance enhancer, or a better form a caffeine. I'm wondering only if selecting the ADHD box under disability increases or decreases my chances of being hired, all other things being the same.

It's otherwise,

  • Not something someone would pick up on, I'm unconvinced a diagnosis can ever be made with certainty.
  • I don't take Adderall every day.
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    "I'm not even sure I have ADHD. However, I have a prescription for ADHD" How did that happen? Please do not take any serious medication (ADHD meds qualify) without proper diagnosis, this can cause you harm. That aside, we cannot read people's mind, or answer if that helps or not,m it's impossible to tell.
    – Aida Paul
    Feb 3 at 17:32
  • @AidaPaul The medication is successful in making me more productive. Who is going to tell me whether or not less productive is a result of "having ADHD with developed coping mechanisms" or "less productive as a result of not being on amphetamine". I've had multiple tests. In person. On the computer. Etc. It doesn't seem like it's easy for anyone to describe it. I'm a computer programmer; it's very likely to me that the expectation on mental focus is simply supremely unnatural, and amphetamine helps you achieve it. Regardless, without it life is more challenging. Feb 3 at 17:45
  • More challenging all the more when you're sleep deprived because of a crying baby. Feb 3 at 17:46
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    Ultimately you do you, I just feel it's important to highlight that it's dangerous to take drugs without proper prescription and supervision (monitoring for side effects, addiction and so on). That is all. It may work for you now, but you may very well be trading long term health for productivity.
    – Aida Paul
    Feb 3 at 17:51
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    Opinion: ADHD per se is not a plus unless they are seriously desperate to check that box. It's not necessarily a negative either. It might be worth citing as an example of overcoming challenges, if that comes up in interview, especially if you can point to strengths you developed in the process.
    – keshlam
    Feb 3 at 19:17

2 Answers 2

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I'm wondering only if selecting the ADHD box under disability increases or decreases my chances of being hired, all other things being the same.

It is used as a signal to indicate that you may need special accommodations. It may also give a reason for detection of certain substances during a drug screen.

In theory, it would neither increase nor decrease your chances of being hired. In reality, some employers would (consciously or unconsciously) prefer not to hire someone with disabilities, while others would prefer to hire someone with disabilities.

Basically, you should disclose your ADHD if you will be seeking any accommodations, or if you otherwise want your future employer to know about it for any reason. Don't do so in hopes of some hiring advantage.

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  • A common perception amongst applicants (which I shared) is that companies are incentivized to hire people who "disabled" by the government, or internally and that marking these check boxes benefits the applicants chances all other things being equal. Thanks for clarifying. Feb 5 at 1:50
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The great majority of the time, whether or not you list your ADHD on your job applications will have ZERO impacts on your chance of employment (It's neither positive nor negative).

Here is the info from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

Employers aren't allowed to ask for medical information until they offer you a job, and they aren't allowed to ask for your genetic information - including family medical history - except in very limited circumstances.

(NOTE: I will talk about these "limited circumstances" in my last paragraph of this answer.)

Here is the link to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/background-checks-what-job-applicants-and-employees-should-know#:~:text=Questions%20About%20Your%20Background&text=(Employers%20aren't%20allowed%20to,except%20in%20very%20limited%20circumstances.)


I have seen many online software engineer applications that have the "optional" section to ask about candidate's medical history, and the companies clearly state that this medical info is NOT sent to hiring managers and is NOT used to decide whether to hire or reject a candidate.

It seems that no one within those companies is allowed to know exactly which candidate has which medical condition.

Instead, that medical info is sent directly to some government agency because these companies either are the contractors for the government or receive some grants from the government, and therefore, these companies may be required to interview a wide variety of applicants in terms of race, gender, disability, etc...

Even for companies that are not government contractors, they still want to send this kind of info to the government to show that they are inclusive and pro-diversity. Again, of course, (with some legitimate exceptions that I will mention at the end of my answer) these companies are NOT allowed to know which candidate has which medical condition, and is NOT allowed to use this info to hire or reject a candidate.


Has any of you (software engineering managers) actually learned about the medical history of the candidates that you are interviewing from their job applications ? Let me know if you do. But, I don't think the hiring software managers are supposed to know.


Maybe, if you apply for jobs in another industry that requires you to lift heavy objects and to operate heavy industrial equipments, then it is OK for the company to ask how much you weight can lift and if you have any medical condition that may prevent you from doing these jobs safely.

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    A common perception amongst applicants (which I shared) is that companies are incentivized to hire people who "disabled" by the government, or internally and that marking these check boxes benefits the applicants chances all other things being equal. Thanks for clarifying. Feb 5 at 1:50

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