If your autistic child is about to become 18 years of age, are you concerned about his or her eligibility for continuing disability benefits? To see if your child can qualify, you have to show the appropriate documentation to the Disability Determination Services.
The three disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition that affects the way the brain processes information. There are three disorders, all of which are present from birth forward: Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The last two may not be diagnosed until someone’s teenage or adult years.
An autism diagnosis requires one symptom of restricted behavior, one symptom of communication impairment and at least two of impaired social interaction. People who have Asperger Syndrome may develop the ability to think, use language properly and function independently at school or work under certain conditions. However, some autistic children are unable to live independently.
Qualifying for benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has Blue Book listings that help those with autism qualify for government benefits. Adults who are unable to work because of autism may qualify for Social Security Disability.
Your best chance of success for the autism disability case is to put together a team of medical and legal professionals who can help develop the appropriate documentation. The claimant or the claimant’s representative must show he or she is unable to meet the SSA guidelines for gainful employment.
There must also be a medical diagnosis attesting to the severity of the claimant’s autistic condition. The Social Security Administration requirements are not as specific for older children as they are for those under 18, but if your child meets certain criteria, you can expect government assistance to continue.