Autism and Social Security Disability

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that can be delibitating for some. Though the degree of autism varies, it is typically characterized by lack of social interaction and poor communication skills. Other characteristics may include compulsive, obsessive behavior, limited attention span, unusual repetitive movement like head rolling, arm flapping and in some cases, inflicting self injury.  Autism is usually diagnosed in the child in the toddler years, however symptoms can appear when the child is an infant.  Although there is no cure for autism – early diagnosis and intervention can lead to better outcomes.

There are cases where the severity of the symptoms preclude the person from being able to function in either a school or work environment.  In such cases, an application for Social Security Disability benefits may be the only option. The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists the qualifying conditions for various disabilities in the “Listing of Impairments.”  For a child the criteria is found at 112.10. If an individual meets these conditions he/she is eligible for social security disability or supplemental security income benefits.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/112.00-MentalDisorders-Childhood.htm

Adults who have been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) may also meet the criteria for a listing for adults.  This is found in the Listing of Impairments at 12.10.  Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), part of the autism spectrum are usually observed in adults.  For the full listing information, please click on the link below.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/12.00-MentalDisorders-Adult.htm

Not everyone will fulfill the criteria to meet a listing.  Even if you are unable to prove that you meet a listing, it is still possible to prove that the condition is disabling using the medical/vocational rules.  For an adult, these guidelines take into consideration your work history, employment factors, educational background and other factors in determining whether you are disabled.  For a child these considerations will evaluate how the child fairs in various domains such as learning and acquiring information; attending and completing tasks; interacting and relating with others; moving about and manipulating objects; caring for yourself and social skills; and health and physical well-being;

If you have any questions regarding a Social Security Disability or Supplement Security Income issues, please give us a call for a free consultation.  352-629-0480.  Sims & Stakenborg has been serving Gainesville, Ocala and the surrounding areas since 1982.