Autism is a condition that affects a person’s communication and social interaction skills. The condition is usually recognized by the time a person turns three years old. There are several signs of autism, and people experience them in varying degrees. When autism is severe, it is considered a disability. Individuals with autism who are unable to work may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Below is an overview of Social Security disability benefits for autism.
A person who applies for Social Security disability benefits for autism must meet the following requirements:
- deficits in social interaction;
- deficits in nonverbal and verbal communication; and
- restricted, repetitive patterns of interests, behavior, or activities.
If all three items of the above issues are documented, the Social Security Administration will attempt to determine whether the applicant’s functioning is severely limited by autism. In order to meet this requirement, the applicant must have an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a severe limitation in two of the following areas:
- understanding, using, or remembering information;
- interacting with other people;
- focusing on activities; and
- managing or adapting oneself.
SSDI and SSI for Autism
Children and adults with autism may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. However, they must apply to different programs. A child with autism may be eligible for Supplement Security Insurance (SSI) if his or her family’s income and assets aren’t above the SSI limits.
An adult with autism may be eligible for SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, SSDI is only available to adults with a work history who paid into the Social Security system.
In addition, a person with autism who is between the ages of 18 and 22 with a parent who receives Social Security disability or retirement benefits may be eligible for SSDI based on the earning record of his or her parent.
The Bottom Line
An individual with autism may be eligible for SSI or SSDI. However, the application process can be complicated. Therefore, it is highly recommended that Social Security disability applicants or their family members seek the assistance of an SSDI and SSI attorney before applying for Social Security disability benefits.
Contact Our El Paso SSDI and SSI Attorney
If you or a family member have autism, you should contact a Texas SSDI and SSI attorney for assistance. When you choose attorney Jon Sipes to handle your SSDI or SSI claim, he will walk you through the Social Security disability benefits application process and do everything in his power to ensure that your claim is successful. Jon Sipes regularly helps people in Texas obtain SSDI and SSI, and he understands what it takes to obtain benefits under the SSDI and SSI programs. If you’re ready to get started, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.