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Getting Social Security disability benefits for children with autism

Laura Schumaker, a writer and autism advocate, said in a blog post that one of the most frequent questions she is asked is whether or not someone’s child has disability qualifying benefits. No two cases are the same with the Social Security Administration, so each family will need to follow a process for procuring benefits.

The first thing that will be essential to figure out is whether the child meets the SSA’s criteria for autism, which will be characterized by qualitative defects in development of social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and imaginative activity. There must also be documented findings of these problems through copies of test scores, therapy results, lab results and other school and medical records.

The Age of Autism blog said before starting any application process, families should start by collecting the necessary medical and financial information to support a disability claim.

“You should also collect written statements from professional adults that interact with your child on a daily basis,” the website said. “These can be from teachers, coaches, therapists, or doctors and should provide details about your child’s condition and how it interferes with his or her daily life.”

The SSA will assess the child suffering from the symptoms associated with autism to determine if the child meets the listing. There will be close analysis of the level of impact the disease has on the child’s ability to perform routine activities of daily living. If the child has difficulties in at least two domains or one extreme of daily living, the court will likely make a finding of disability.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates have successfully represented numerous children affected by autism in obtaining disability benefits.