Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder. This disorder is present from birth, and most cases are recognized before a child is three years old. Throughout life, autism impacts communication and social interaction skills.
There are varying degrees to this neurodevelopment disorder. A person is usually diagnosed when at least six symptoms are shown. One of the symptoms must be linked to communication, one to behavior impairment, and two to social interaction impairments.
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Boston, your or your child’s autism must meet certain requirements. First, the doctor must have determined that:
- You or your child has deficits in reciprocal social interaction.
- You or your child has deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication.
- You or your child shows a noticeably restricted range activities or interests.
If you qualify meet all of the above criteria, it must also demonstrated that your or your child’s autistic disorder also results in at least two of the following:
- Noticeable restriction of daily living activities. This refers to your or your child’s ability to perform basic self-care activities, such as grooming, feeding oneself, and going to the bathroom.
- Noticeable difficulty of social functions. The Social Security Administration defines this as your or your child’s ability to form and keep relationships. Impairment may be demonstrated by physically aggressive acts, social isolation, or becoming mute.
- Noticeable difficulty of concentration, persistence, or pace. This is indentified by your or your child’s ability to focus on a specific task, continue performing the task, and maintaining a pace through the task appropriate for age and abilities.
- Extended difficulty in communicative or cognitive functioning. Based on the age of the person with autistic disorder, a standardized test may be provided to determine communicative or cognitive functioning. This tests for language and speech development and cognitive impairments, such as having an IQ score of 70 or less.
Children may qualify for SSI benefits if the income of both parents is not above the SSI limits. For adults who suffer from autism, you can apply for SSI or SSDI. SSDI in Boston is available to adults who have a work history and have paid Social Security taxes.
Applying for these benefits can be complicated and overwhelming. Contact a Boston Social Security disability lawyer at Keefe Disability Law for help drafting your application. We will work closely with you to help improve your chances at having your application accepted so that you can get the benefits you and your family need.