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Autistic Children and SSI Benefits in Honea Path, SC

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers special benefits for disabled adults and children in low-income households. These benefits, called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, are distributed as monthly payments to those who qualify. They help disabled people with limited resources access the educational, medical and social resources they need to thrive. In addition to those with a variety of other disabilities, autistic children and adults are eligible for SSI benefits if they meet the medical requirements. If you are the parent of an autistic child in a low-income household, keep reading to learn more about whether your child could be eligible for benefits from the SSA.

Medical Requirements for Children with Autism

In order to be eligible for SSI benefits, your autistic child must meet the requirements laid out in the SSA’s “blue book”, the administration’s guide that explains which medical conditions qualify for SSI. The guide goes into great detail about what symptoms and behaviors must be present for the affected child’s disability to be considered severe enough. To be precise, a child is only eligible for SSI if their condition “leads to serious limitations, is considered chronic or could lead to death.” 

Since autism is a spectrum, all autistic children will experience the world differently. Some will only see minor effects of autism on their social encounters, communication styles and academic pursuits, while others will face far more significant effects on their daily lives. As written in the “blue book,” the SSA requires the following in order to deem an autistic child eligible for SSI:

Medical documentation of both of the following:

  • Qualitative deficits in verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and social interaction; and 
  • Significantly restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities; and
  • Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:
    • Understand, remember, or apply information.
    • Interact with others.
    • Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace.
    • Adapt or manage oneself.

It’s important to note that the SSA makes this distinction: “Examples of disorders that we evaluate in this category include autism spectrum disorder with or without accompanying intellectual impairment, and autism spectrum disorder with or without accompanying language impairment.” Children can also have a variety of other neurocognitive, intellectual and neurodevelopmental disorders (outside of the autism spectrum) that qualify for SSI; for more information, refer to the SSA “blue book”.

Applying for SSI Benefits

If you think your child could be eligible for SSI, your next step is to take a look at this year’s income requirements to see whether your family’s financial situation qualifies. If your monthly income and combined resources put you in the range of eligibility, we highly recommend applying for SSI. First, take a look at our overview of SSI for children, then begin your application on the SSA website. Once you provide some basic information, a representative will reach out to set up an application appointment. You’ll have to provide a variety of documents to prove the eligibility of your child and your family as a whole. 

You may have to wait a few months to hear whether your application was approved or denied. If the latter occurs, you’ll need the help of an experienced disability lawyer as you appeal the SSA’s decision. If you have already received a denial, you’ve come to the right place. Here at the law firm of J. Robert Surface, we have worked with many families with disabled children over the years — and we’re here to help you, too. Contact us for your free case review today.

If you have questions, we are available 24/7 at (864) 235-0886. There is no guarantee you will win benefits if you apply. The office of J. Robert Surface, Attorney at Law is located at 513 E Greer St, Honea Path, SC 29654. He proudly serves clients from Greenville, Clemson and Spartanburg.

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