Disability Benefits for Your Autistic Child

Mom caring for her child

Caring for a child with a disability can be expensive. Apart from increased medical bills, a child with a disability may require full-time care. Thus, many parents end up giving up their jobs to provide the care that their child needs. This, in turn, means that many families impacted by disability are financially challenged, with some even living near the poverty line. Social security disability attempts to replace lost income and help pay for a child’s medical bills, mobility equipment, and everyday living costs.

If your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and their disability severely limits their communication skills or daily activities, they may be entitled to receive social security disability for children to help with expenses.

Symptoms of Autism

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes a wide range of symptoms:

• Social withdrawal – losing language skills and interests in the world around them
• Avoidance of eye contact
• Inability to speak or late development of speech
• Focus on one object or activity
• Crying or screaming if a routine is changed
• Headbanging
• Hand flapping
• Hypersensitivity to noise or light
• Inability to play with other children
• Late or absent toilet training

Is Your Child Eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

As symptoms and severity of autism varies to such a great degree, not all children with autism will be eligible to receive SSI. The criteria for SSI disability for children include the following markers:

• Deficits in reciprocal communication – The child has severe deficits in both verbal and non-verbal communication skills
• Deficits in Imaginative Play – A severe restriction is present is the child’s ability to imagine and play
• Severe Restrictions in Daily Activities – A level of disability that severely limits daily activities, social relationships and interests

Parents should have all the appropriate medical records to provide evidence for their claim.

Disability can be financially draining and limit opportunities for children. SSI aims to address the imbalance by supplementing the income of parents of disabled children who are severely affected by their autism.