Adults are not the only individuals who can qualify for social security disability benefits. For parents raising a child diagnosed with autism, the household often makes difficult choices concerning the daily care and medical assistance or therapies necessary for the child to thrive.
Individuals under the age of 18 with medical eligibility could receive cash benefits through SSI. At the age of 22, these individuals could become eligible for SSDI. Autism is one condition included in the SSA program.
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental and neurological disorder impacting how an individual communicates, behaves and learns. The exact nature and symptoms of the disorder vary greatly among those with the condition, leading to a variation in designations for the disorder. Disabilities under SSI must present the following characteristics:
- An expected result of death
- Severa and marked functional limitations
- Expected condition period of more than 12 months
With those on the autism spectrum, the individual must meet the medical eligibility criteria while the family must meet the financial criteria.
Even though an autistic child receives a diagnosis of autism, denial of SSI or SSDI is possible. It is up to the state to determine the qualifying conditions and whether or not a child is eligible for payments. In some cases, children receive approval on the current condition of the disability, but if the situation changes, the state could revert the decision and deny benefits.
It will require medical documentation in order to pursue SSI for an autistic child. If approved, these benefits could help a family with the care and resources needed for the child.