Autism and autism spectrum disorders can make it difficult for children to reach certain developmental milestones and function socially. Autism can prevent adults from working to earn a living. Autism is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and can be considered disabling enough for you to qualify yourself or your child for benefits through one of the disability programs, SSDI or SSI.
Discuss Your Case With a Social Security Disability Attorney for Autism
Qualifying for Social Security benefits based on a developmental impairment like autism can be challenging without the help of a skilled social security disability attorney. If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with autism, we recommend discussing your case with an attorney as soon as possible. Contact Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects how a person’s brain processes information. There are three disorders within the broad spectrum of autism disorder, autism, Asperger Syndrome (AS), and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS). Although these conditions are present from birth, many adults were not diagnosed until their teen or adult years.
SSI vs. DDSI Disability for Children and Adults on the Autism Spectrum
Children with autism may qualify for Social Security Income (SSI) disability benefits when their parent’s income and assets are below the SSI limits. Adults with autism spectrum disorder can apply for SSI benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI benefits are only available for applicants who have enough work credits from paying into the Social Security department through their employment. To qualify for SSDI benefits, adults must submit medical documentation that their autism is severe enough to impair them from working.
Medically Qualifying for Social Security Benefits Through Autism
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting social interaction skills and developmental skills. Individuals with autism experience a unique combination of symptoms, and not everyone with this disability displays the same behaviors. The Social Security Blue Book lists ASD as a qualifying disability under 112.10. To qualify for SSDI benefits, the blue book listing requires an applicant to show that all of the following symptoms are present:
- Deficits in social interaction
- Deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, and
- Significantly restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
When these three qualifications are documented, the claims examiner will determine whether the applicant’s functioning is severely limited. For children, the disability must result in an extreme limitation in one of the following areas, or a severe limitation in two of the following areas:
- Interacting with others
- Understanding, remembering, or using information
- Focusing on activities, and
- Adapting or managing oneself
Qualifying for SSDI As an Adult with Autism is Challenging
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder won’t qualify for SSDI benefits, mainly because they have not worked enough to earn enough work credits to become eligible. To qualify for SSDI, a person must have held a job for the required amount of quarters for their age. Autism is present from birth, making it difficult for those with significant symptoms to find and keep a job over a long enough time to qualify.
However, adults with ASD may apply for SSDI as an adult disabled child when a parent is receiving retirement or disability benefits, or if their parent is deceased. If you won’t qualify as an adult disabled child, you can attempt to apply for Supplemental Security Income. You will need to show that your symptoms limit you from working for pay and that your income and assets are significantly low enough to qualify you for benefits.
Why You Need an Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney on Your Side
Proving eligibility for Social Security benefits as a child or adult with ASD is challenging. Being diagnosed with ASD isn’t enough to automatically qualify for benefits. Most individuals have difficulty showing a marked limitation of severity. However, it is possible to obtain benefits, and working with an experienced attorney will increase your chances of success.
The attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas have extensive experience representing clients with autism. We can help you obtain all of the medical documentation you need to support your SSDI or SSI claim. Working with us will make the process much less stressful because we will complete your application and handle any appeals necessary. We know how to show that applicants cannot perform any work on a consistent basis.
Appealing Your Disability Benefit Claim
Many first-time applications for SSDI are denied by the Social Security Administration. If you receive a notice that your claim has been denied, don’t panic. You have the right to request a reconsideration of your case within 60 days of receiving the notice. It’s important that you reach out to an attorney before the 60 days expire. If your request for reconsideration is denied, you can request a review of your case by an administrative law judge (ALJ).
Our attorneys will prepare for your disability hearing before the administrative law judge. One of our attorneys will ask the expert questions at your disability hearing in a way that shows the full extent of the severity of your disability and your inability to continue working. Should the administrative law judge deny your claim, we will guide you through the next steps in the appeals process. We have extensive experience representing clients at every stage of the appeals process, and we’re prepared to provide you with the excellent legal representation you deserve.
Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney in Las Vegas Today
There are significant hurdles you will need to overcome to obtain Social Security disability benefits after being diagnosed with autism. At Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas, our attorneys will advocate for you at every step, from the initial application to appealing a denial of your claim, when necessary. Contact us at Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case and how we can help you.