If you have a loved one who has autism spectrum disorder, you likely know how challenging it can be to perform everyday tasks, including work. Fortunately, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are available to some individuals who have autism or an autism-related disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological and developmental condition that often begins early in childhood and continues throughout adulthood. Individuals with the disorder typically experience struggles with communication and behavior. The spectrum component of the disorder indicates affected individuals may have different symptoms of varying degrees.
Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder
Individuals who may have autism spectrum disorder should seek a psychological examination to either confirm or dispel their suspicions. Nonetheless, those with autism or a related disorder often have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty interacting with others
- Difficulty communicating ideas or emotions
- Difficulty participating in everyday activities
- Repetitive behaviors
- Limited interests
SSDI benefits for autism spectrum disorder
The Social Security Administration maintains a list of medical conditions that may be serious enough to qualify for SSDI benefits. Autism spectrum disorder is on this list. To receive benefits, your loved one must first have an autism diagnosis. Then, he or she must submit medical evidence of the following:
- Deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication
- Deficits in social interaction
- Restricted behaviors, activities or interests
Supplemental evidence for autism-related SSDI benefits
While providing initial evidence of an autism diagnosis is essential, the SSDI benefits application is not complete until your loved one also submits additional information. This includes proof of the following limitations:
- Understanding, recalling or applying information
- Concentrating, persisting or maintaining peace
- Interacting with others
- Adapting to changes in circumstances
- Managing himself or herself
Even though the SSA has a listing for autism spectrum disorder, qualifying for SSDI benefits is rarely simple. Regrettably, individuals with neurological disorders may have a more difficult time obtaining benefits than those with physical impairments. Nonetheless, if your loved one is on the autism spectrum, securing SSDI benefits may give him or her the funds necessary to manage both the neurological condition and everyday life.