Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Ssi For Adults With Autism

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Regular Interaction With Others Can Often Benefit Autistic Young Adults

Can an adult with autism receive social security disability benefits?

Research indicates that children diagnosed with autism can show a reduction in autistic behaviors as they grow older. This process may be aided by positive social contact in a supportive environment. This weighs against discouraging young adults with autism from making attempts at working, volunteering, or continuing education. Disability benefits are intended for those who cannot work on a regular and continuing basis. Part-time work with earnings under a certain threshold will not disqualify a young adult from obtaining disability benefits. At Keller & Keller, we understand the nuances of these rules and can advise you on them.

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 youre ready to get started, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

How To Apply For Benefits

The Social Security Administration is a federal entity, but benefits flow from the states to people in need. In some cases, youll start the conversation online. It pays to know where your states benefits office is located, so you can get added help as needed.

To apply for benefits for kids:

  • Make an appointment. Meet with a professional in the SSA in your state.
  • Gather paperwork. Youll need medical records, doctors notes, test results, notes from teachers, income data, and anything else that can help you prove your childs disability.
  • Complete an application. Youll get the forms you need during your meeting, and you might fill them out before your appointment ends.

To apply for benefits for adults:

  • Gather paperwork. Pull together medical records, employment records, notes from bosses, test results, and anything else that helps to prove a disability.
  • Hop online. Apply for disability benefits through the SSA website. Save your work and return to an open application if you cant complete the form in one day.

Prepare to wait several weeks before you hear back, experts say. The team must assess all the data you sent, and that takes time.

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Embarking On The Benefit Application Process

When you are ready to begin an SSI claim on behalf of a child you care for, you can schedule an appointment with your local SSA office by calling the main helpline at 1-800-772-1213. Just keep in mind that there are typically long hold times when calling the SSA. If you can find a local number through the SSAs office locator, you may have an easier time making an appointment.

During your local office appointment, youll participate in a personal interview with an SSA representative. This representative will walk you through the SSI application, record your information and submit your claim for you. With a rich medical history, the person you care for should be approved in a couple of months.

To learn more about the Social Security Disability application process, from initially applying, to keeping benefits after being approved, visit .

About the author:

Deanna Power is the Director of Outreach at Disability Benefits Help, an independent organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities receive the Social Security benefits they need. She initially began working with people with disabilities by volunteering with Best Buddies, and now specializes in helping potential Social Security claimants determine if they medically qualify for benefits. If you have any questions on the application process, feel free to email her at .

Is Autism Considered A Disability

Impairment Types Most Frequently Approved for SSD Benefits

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication and social interaction skills. Autism is thought to be present from birth and is usually recognized by three years of age. Not everyone with autism displays the same behaviors.

Asperger’s syndrome and “pervasive development disordernot otherwise specified” are often included on the “autism spectrum.”

There are many signs and symptoms of autism, and they’re experienced by varying degrees only severe autism is considered a disability.

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Appendix: Digression On Parental Earnings Before And After Age 18

SSI’s parental-income deeming rules cease to apply when a potential recipient reaches age 18. At that milestone, the different treatment of parental income removes any incentives for parents to limit earnings. As a result, policy-aware parents may increase their earnings after a child turns 18. Although incentives to limit their income are eliminated, parents still may not be able to find a job while also providing or finding care that their children may need. In fact, mixed evidence suggests that parents with children receiving SSI payments have lower earnings and income than parents whose children do not receive SSI payments. For example, Kubik found that households with a likely child SSI recipient have lower parental labor force participation, yet Duggan and Kearney found no impact of SSI participation on household earnings. Deshpande , on the other hand, found that the loss of SSI eligibility increases parental earnings. For the change in income rules to affect earning behavior, it is also necessary for parents to understand those rules. Some parents surely do, but given the complexity of the SSI program, many others probably do not.

Table A-1.Difference-in-difference estimates of the earnings of the parents of SSI recipients before and after the recipient turns 18

Observation interval

Characteristics Of Youth Applicants

Among the notable differences between SSI applicants of different ages is an unsurprising decrease after age 17 in primary diagnoses of childhood and adolescent mental disorders not elsewhere classified. Table 1 shows that the frequency of that diagnosis dropped from 2.4 percent among 17-year-olds to 0.3 percent among older applicants. The percentages of applicants with an intellectual disability also varied by age, from 9.8 percent at age 17 to 17.1 percent at age 18 and to 9.1 percent at age 19. Notably, almost one-quarter of youths applying in the first 2 months of age 18 had an intellectual disability. A similar pattern emerged for applicants with autism spectrum disorders: The percentage more than doubled from 3.0 percent to 7.4 percent between ages 17 and 18, and reached almost 11 percent among applicants in the first 2 months of age 18, but dropped sharply to 2.6 percent for applicants aged 19. The percentages of applicants with congenital anomalies and with diseases of the nervous system and sense organs also increased noticeably at age 18. The diagnostic groups with the greatest percentage increases among applicants aged 18 typically were long-term conditions. Although it cannot be determined from the available data, it is likely that many of these youths were ineligible for SSI during childhood because parental income was too high.

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What Happens When Your Child Turns 18

At 18, Social Security considers your child an adult and different rules are used to determine if an adult can get SSI disability payments. Starting at age 18, SSI no longer will consider the income and resources of family members when deciding whether an adult meets financial limits. If your child is already receiving SSI, Social Security will review their medical condition when they turn 18. If your child was not eligible for SSI before their 18th birthday because of financial limits, they may become eligible at 18 and should apply again.

Can A Child With Autism Be Denied Ssi Benefits

Autism: Do I Qualify For SSI?

By Rachel Andersen

Parents of children with autism are inundated with questions while trying to provide the best care for their children. Many options exist for therapies, advocation, medical assistance, physicians, and the list goes on. Knowing which options will be best for their autistic children, and if they will have the financial resources to pay for them, sometimes leaves more questions than answers.

The cost of raising a child is astronomical, add in the challenges many children with autism face, and the amount rises significantly higher. Getting help paying the ever-mounting bills can be overwhelming.

In this article I hope to make the process a bit easier, taking some of the guesswork out of one line of financial support that may be available to your family if youre based in the USA: monthly benefits through Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance .

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Does Autism Qualify For Ssi

Autism is classified as a developmental disorder that affects a persons communication skills and their social interaction skills. While symptoms vary from person to person, it is believed that a child is born with autism and at some point in their developmental years will show signs that exhibit autistic tendencies. This is when diagnosis may occur. Severe forms of autism are considered to be a disability and may require not only ongoing medical care but also ongoing therapies and services. For people who need assistance with coverage and care, social security insurance may be an option.

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What Should Families With Children On The Autism Spectrum Do

Just like with so many other things, family members must decide for themselves if SSI or SSDI is something they would like to pursue. If the answer is yes, the work begins to see if their family meets the criteria for their child to qualify.

Upon application, and providing the necessary documents, it is then in the hands of the SSA. If approved, they will need to review their eligibility often and report any changes, however slight, that occur in their circumstances that would potentially affect their ability to continue to receive funds.

They may be denied benefits, but they could also receive an amount that enables them to better care for their children. You never know until you try!


SSA. Benefits For Children With Disabilities 2021.

SSA. Disability Benefits

SSA. Understanding Supplemental Security Income Resources 2021.

Anderson et. al. Trends in Supplemental Security Income Payments to Adults With Autism 8 April 2020: United States Census Bureau. Poverty Status In the Last Twelve Months 2019.

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Meeting The Autism Listing From The Listing Of Impairments

The SSA’s Listing of Impairments contains categories of medical conditions along with specific requirements that must be met before an applicant can be found disabled. The requirements for autistic spectrum disorders are the same for the adult listing and childhood listing. Both listings require medical evidence showing all of the following factors:

  • deficits in social interaction
  • deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, and
  • significantly restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.

In addition, Social Security will look to see how much autism limits the applicant’s ability to function at school or in the workplace. The applicant must either have an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a “marked” limitation in two of the following areas:

  • understanding, remembering, or using information
  • interacting with others
  • focusing on activities , and
  • adapting or managing oneself .

Student Earned Income Exclusion

Types of Services SSI Can Provide for Kids With Disabilities

Usually, if you make too much money, your SSI benefits will either go down or be stopped altogether. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, which SSI calls exclusions.

One of those exclusions is the Student Earned Income Exclusion . This exclusion allows students to earn up to $1,930 per month, and up to $7,770 per year, without having those wages count as part of their countable income.

In order to qualify for the SEIE, you have to be under 22, working, and regularly attending school. That usually means you have to go to school more than:

  • 8 hours a week for college students
  • 12 hours a week for grades 7-12, or
  • 12-15 hours a week for employment training.

You make $1,050 per month at a summer job. During the school year, you also make $350 each month at a work-study job. Since the money you make doesnt exceed the monthly and annual limits for the SEIE, your SSI benefits wont go down at all.

If you drop out of school, you will no longer get the SEIE, and you will get a smaller benefits amount than you would if you had stayed in school. Stay in school! Youll get more money thanks to the SEIE, and when you graduate, youll get a higher paying job thanks to your degree!

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Autistic Adults Can Qualify For Social Security Disability

Sometimes it is easy to tell that a person is disabled. A blind person may have a seeing eye dog or cane. An amputee is missing a leg. A person with a bad back may have difficulty sitting or standing for more than a short time.

Some disabilities are hidden or invisible. You cant tell if a person is depressed or diabetic or asthmatic just by looking at him.

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication and by unusual behavior patterns such as repetitive activities, pervasive interests, and extreme sensitivity to sounds, textures, lights or smells. However, the severity of symptoms can vary, and no two autistic individuals are alike.

This disorder is included in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book of qualifying conditions under Section 12.10, Mental Disorders. Most adults with autism spectrum disorder will not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance . In order to qualify for SSDI, you must have held a job for the required number of quarters for a person of your age. Since autism is present from birth, an applicant with a significant work history may find it hard to prove that his disorder affects his ability to hold a job. There is an exception: Adults with autism may apply for SSDI as an adult disabled child if a parent is deceased or receiving retirement or disability benefits.

If you do not qualify as an adult disabled child, you will need to apply for Supplemental Security Income.

What Happens To Disability Benefits When My Child Turns 18

Many disability beneficiaries are children and teenagers about 4.4 million, according to the Social Security Administration . But what happens when your disabled child reaches age 18? Does Supplemental Security Income go away, or continue? Do you need to reapply? Our disability lawyers explore the SSI rules and regulations that take effect when a beneficiary turns 18.

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Treatment Of Parental Income

Most children do not have substantial earnings or unearned income. Because SSI is intended to be assistance of last resort, and because the program is intended to offset the additional costs of a child’s disability to parents , parental income is deemed to the child. In calculating the deemed amount, SSA does not include certain amounts of income assumed to be available to the parents or to other children who are not eligible for SSI .3

For children who live with SSI-ineligible parents, deeming entails calculating parental countable unearned income by subtracting the sum of the parental living allowance , allocations , and the $20 general-income exclusion from total parental unearned income a negative result is treated as zero. Deemable parental earned income is then calculated by subtracting from gross earned income the combined amount of any allocations not counted as unearned income, the excludable first $65 of earned income, and any portion of the $20 general-income exclusion not used to reduce unearned income, then dividing that result by two. Subtracting the parental living allowance from the sum of countable parental earned and unearned income provides the amount deemed to the child.4 Deemed income is counted as the child’s unearned income when determining his or her SSI eligibility and payment amount.

youth is eligible

Social Security Disability Claims On The Basis Of Autism

Applying to SSDI as a Broke Autistic Adult

Disability benefits applications are evaluated using medical evidence and the Social Security Administrations manual of impairments, also known as the Blue Book. Whether the applicant is a child or adult, they must meet the specific requirements listed under Autism in the Blue Book. To do this, they must provide medical evidence that shows:

  • Limited participation and interest in various activities
  • An inability to participate in creative or imaginative thought or activities
  • Impaired verbal and/or non-verbal communication skills
  • Severe difficulty with social interactions, especially in reciprocating or responding

If you or your child fall on the autism spectrum and youve been turned down for disability benefits, its time to obtain legal help. The lawyers at Disability Help Center San Diego will help you collect the necessary medical evidence, guide you through the appeals process, and fight to get you the benefits your family needs and deserves. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our law team at or contact us online.

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If You Are Offered Services Under The Ticket To Work Program

Social Security may send you a Ticket that you can use to obtain services to help you go to work or earn more money. You may take the Ticket to your state vocational rehabilitation agency or to an Employment Network of your choice. Employment Networks are private organizations that have agreed to work with Social Security to provide employment services to beneficiaries with disabilities. Your participation in the Ticket Program is voluntary and the services are provided at no cost to you.

If A Beneficiary Dies

Let them know if a person receiving Social Security benefits dies. Benefits are not payable for the month of death. That means if the person died any time in July, for example, the check received in August must be returned. If direct deposit is used, also notify the financial institution of the death as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death.

Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting disability benefits dies.

If you are receiving both Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits based on your spouses work and your spouse dies, you must tell Social Security immediately. You no longer will be eligible to receive both benefits. You will be notified which survivor benefit you will receive.

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