How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits with Autism

May 5th 2020

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder as it’s commonly called now, is something that doctors and psychologists understand a lot more these days than they did in previous generations. Because of the increased understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder, it’s fairly common for adults to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder after suffering from symptoms of ASD all of their lives. If you have severe symptoms associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder and you can’t work, you may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits that can help pay for living costs while you are unable to work.

Social Security Disability Benefits and Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Social Security Administration has a book containing all of the medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits called the Blue book. You must be able to show that you have a condition that is listed in the Blue Book and that you meet the requirements for that listing in order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. To prove that you have Autism Spectrum Disorder you will need to have a doctor’s diagnosis of Autism plus medical records and test results as well as statements from social workers or case workers that can back up your claim.

The Blue Book listing for Autism is very clear and applies to both children and adults. The Blue Book states that in order to be eligible for disability benefits due to ASD you must have all three of these:

  • Deficits in social interaction.
  • Deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Significantly restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.

There are other requirements also. In addition to the first three requirements the person applying for disability benefits must either have an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a “marked” limitation in two of the following areas:

  • Understanding, remembering, or using information.
  • Interacting with others such as having the ability to cooperate with others, maintain friendships or work relationships, handle conflicts, initiate or sustain conversation, understand social cues.
  • Focusing on activities or maintaining the ability to perform tasks at a consistent pace, avoid distractions, complete tasks in timely manner,
  • Adapting or managing oneself like maintaining the ability to regulate emotions, control behavior, protect oneself from harm, maintain personal hygiene.

If you can’t prove that you meet these requirements, but you still can’t work because of you symptoms you can apply for a Medical Vocational Allowance.

Medical Vocational Allowance

A Medical Vocational Allowance makes you eligible for Social Security disability benefits even when you can’t meet the Blue Book requirements for a condition. To get a Medical Vocational Allowance you need to ask for a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation. The SSA will perform this evaluation to see f there are any sort of work that you an do with the symptoms that you have. If the SSA finds that you can’t do any kind work at all because of your symptoms you can be eligible for disability benefits.

Starting A Claim for Disability Benefits

If you have questions about your application or if you need physical help filing a claim the best way to get started is to make an appointment at your local SSA office . Make sure that you bring copies of all of your documentation to the appointment with you.