The challenges that come with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can make it impossible for you, or a family member, to work.
Without an income, you may face a financial crisis. Social Security Disability benefits could ease the strain and stabilize your life.
But applying for benefits with ASD comes with its own challenges. It’s a neurological disorder that’s difficult to diagnose and varies from person to person. Autism falls on a “spectrum,” ranging from mild to severe. These are common characteristics:
- Inability to interact socially
- Deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication
- Restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities
- Stagnation of development or loss of skills acquired early in life
The emotional stress of a loved one suffering from autism can be overwhelming, and applying for disability benefits is a complex, lengthy process. Relieve the burden on yourself by getting experienced legal representation to help you win benefits.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill have helped thousands of Mid-Missourians like you—from Columbia to Jefferson City, Fulton, Moberly and Sedalia—file successful claims.
If you were denied benefits, our attorneys can help you file an appeal.
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits with Autism
The National Institutes of Health estimates that one out of every 68 children in the United States has been identified with ASD.
To qualify for benefits, you or your loved one will need to provide medical documentation to Social Security that shows BOTH of the following:
- Deficits in verbal communication, nonverbal communication and social interaction
- Significantly restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities
Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two of the following areas of mental functioning
- Understanding, remembering or applying information (using information to follow instructions, make decisions, solve problems)
- Interacting with others (playing with and cooperating with others, understanding social cues, holding a conversation, maintaining friendships and handling conflict)
- Concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace (keeping a consistent focus on an activity, avoiding distractions, completing a task in a timely manner)
- Adapting or managing oneself (regulating your own emotions, controlling behavior, protecting yourself from harm, maintaining personal hygiene)
The legal team at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill will evaluate your case for autism disability benefits for free.
What Type of Autism Disability Benefit Is Right for Me?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two different disability programs for those affected by autism:
SSI is based on your income and assets, which must fall below certain limits. It does not require you to have worked for a certain number of years, or have earned work credits.
SSI is available to children, so many children with autism qualify for SSI.
If you’re over 18, have never been able to work a significant amount, and your family did not meet the income and assets criteria for you to get SSI as a child, you may reapply for this benefit as an adult.
This program is for adults who experience a disability before retirement age. To qualify, you must have worked long enough to receive a sufficient number of work credits.
Another way to qualify for SSDI benefits is as a dependent of a parent receiving benefits. This benefit is available to children under 18.
Anyone over the age of 18 who acquired a disability before turning 22 can receive benefits based on the work record of a parent. The parent must either be deceased, retired or receiving disability benefits themselves.
This “adult child benefit” continues for as long as the child continues to have a disability.
If you’re uncertain which program is right for you, the disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill can help you understand your options.
Get Support for Your Social Security Disability Claim
With such a complicated application process, a law firm experienced in filing successful disability claims can make a big difference for you.
The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill can help you gather your information and put together a complete and effective application.
If you have any questions about SSI or SSDI benefits for autism, we’re here for you. We understand the hardships that autism can bring for you and your family.
We’re a family firm, dedicated to helping yours.