If you or someone in your household has autism, you might be eligible for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) awards benefits for autism in cases where the condition causes marked limitations in one’s ability to function socially and cognitively.
But the SSA does not make the process for getting benefits easy. There are many complex and often confusing requirements you must meet to qualify. Sometimes the SSA’s decisions can seem arbitrary. You might feel you meet all their defined criteria and still receive a denial for benefits for your autism.
The skilled disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can simplify the process for you and increase your chances of receiving benefits. We specialize in fighting for disability benefits for our clients. We will put our expertise and our resources to work for you.
When you sit down with us, we gather all the relevant facts about your situation and give you an honest assessment of your chances of receiving benefits. From there, we start the process of accumulating evidence and presenting your case to the SSA. We handle everything from beginning to end and keep you in the loop for the entire process. Call 866-628-8179 for a free consultation. We can help you get Social Security disability benefits for autism.
What type of disability benefits can I apply for?
The first thing we determine is whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSDI is for people who have a sufficient work history and have paid Social Security taxes. Those taxes serve as premiums for SSDI and make you eligible to file a claim if you later develop a disabling condition. If you are applying on behalf of an adult child with autism, you might qualify for SSDI if your child meets certain criteria and you have a sufficient work history.
SSI is a government program for low-income individuals and families with disabilities. If you do not have enough of a work history for SSDI or you are applying on behalf of a minor child—in which case you are not eligible for SSDI—we can try for benefits under the SSI program.
How does the SSA decide if my autism qualifies for benefits?
Autism affects one’s ability to communicate and interact socially. It can cause cognitive impairments, as well, but a diagnosis of autism does not automatically imply a low IQ. Many people with autism have measured intelligence that is well above average, but struggle to relate to others, work in groups, or maintain social lives.
- A deficit in social interaction and communication; and
- A limited repertoire of interests and repetitive behavior patterns.
Also, the condition must cause an extreme impairment in one or a marked impairment in at least two of the following areas.
Communicative or Cognitive Functioning
We can measure this by ordering IQ tests and consulting with professionals familiar with you or your loved one. In the case of a child, we can examine the results of school standardized tests, interview psychiatrists and school counselors, and consult with teachers.
We look for evidence of severe limitations relating to others or building and sustaining relationships. We can use psychologist or psychiatrist reports to bolster our case.
This refers to self-care, such as feeding, showering, dressing, brushing teeth, and so forth. We can consult with family members and loved ones to prove impairment in this functional area.
Ability to Concentrate
This refers to the ability to focus on a task to completion without slowing down or getting sidetracked. We can measure this by having a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor observe you or your child. We can also examine any test results.
Income and Work Requirements for SSDI and SSI
Both SSDI and SSI have certain requirements with regard to your income and work history. The requirements vary greatly between the two programs. Both programs, however, have a maximum monthly income limit you cannot surpass in order to qualify.
With SSDI, the income limit is $1,170 per month. You must also have a sufficient work history and have paid into Social Security through your payroll taxes. We can look at your work history and help you understand the maximum benefit for which you are eligible.
To qualify for the SSI program, you must be low-income and have few assets. The exact income limit varies based on the number of adults and children in your household. It can be difficult to pinpoint whether your income qualifies, as not every dollar you make counts toward the total. You may also deduct certain household expenses. Our attorneys can help you structure your income so you maximize the available deductions and exemptions so you have the best chance of qualifying.
For a free claim evaluation, call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today.
When you are applying for disability benefits for autism, having a skilled attorney on your side can greatly improve your chances of approval. At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we fight every day to help our clients receive the disability benefits they deserve.
The SSA’s rules and processes can be tricky and they are always looking for any indication that your claim is not valid. Sometimes a simple mistake can mean the difference between approval and denial. Our attorneys have seen it all and we can ensure that every piece of evidence we put forth strengthens your case and improves your chances of receiving benefits for your autism.
We also offer free consultations, so there is no risk in talking to our attorneys. Let us take the burden of fighting for disability benefits off your shoulders. Call 866-628-8179 today for an appointment.