Autism

The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains an autism listing that applies to children who suffer from this condition. These children may be eligible for benefits if they meet certain criteria. Adults who suffer from autism may be eligible for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, adults need to prove that their condition negatively impacts their abilities in the workplace severely enough to make it impossible for them to work in any position for which they are qualified.

Disability For Autism

Children who are diagnosed with autism may meet the SSA’s listing for benefit purposes, but a medical professional will have to evaluate the specific case to determine eligibility. In order for a child to qualify, he or she must display significant deficits in the ability to interact socially or communicate. Imagination is a developmental characteristic that is also evaluated during this process.

Deficits in the areas listed above may indicate that a child will have difficulty functioning cognitively, socially and personally. Children with these issues may not be able to focus or keep up the pace in a classroom setting.

Children who suffer from autism often have difficulty relating to others or forming social relationships. This difficulty could lead to aggressive behavior. Some children become withdrawn because of their inability to form relationships, and it is even possible for autistic children to display mutism.

Children with autism can apply for supplemental security income (SSI) rather than SSDI benefits. SSI is intended for children in low-income families.

Autism and SSDI

Adults who have autism need to undergo a residual functional capacity (RFC) test to determine their limits in the workplace. This test must be administered by a licensed medical professional, and it is essential for the results of the RFC test to be well-documented. Adults who are found to have mental or physical limitations that make it impossible for them to work may be found eligible for SSDI benefits.

Autism is a condition that presents in different ways for each individual. Some people with autism are highly functional, but other individuals are completely unable to form personal and professional relationships. Common symptoms of autism that are observed in adults include difficulty to share interests with others, lack of empathy, difficulty speaking and difficulty with seeing another person’s point of view during a conversation.

Routines are important for people who suffer from autism. Adults who have this condition may become aggressive if there are any changes made to their daily routine. Tics including rocking or repeating the same phrase may be used as coping mechanisms in adults who suffer from autism.

Fixations are common in people who have autism. Many autistic individuals find one product, game, television show or collectible to focus their attention on. This topic tends to consume much of the individual’s free time.

The work history of the applicant will be scrutinized during the application process. This allows the SSA to determine whether there are past positions that applicants could return to instead of collecting benefits.

Medical history is the most important part of an SSDI benefit application. Autism is usually diagnosed in childhood, so adults who suffer from this condition may need to access medical records from their past. It is important for these individuals to continue seeking treatment and to visit a medical provider when symptoms are experienced. Thorough medical records could be the difference between receiving benefits and receiving a denial.

Getting Help With Applying

Applying for SSDI benefits requires applicants to carefully fill out several different forms in order to provide the SSA with the information needed to make a decision. Unfortunately, it is common for applications to be denied due to simple errors on these forms. This is why it is important for applicants to consult with an SSDI attorney before moving forward. These specialized legal representatives are able to guide disabled individuals through the application process. Applicants gain a partner in the pursuit of benefits to reduce the stress associated with the process. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.