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When can people get SSDI benefits for autism?

| May 28, 2015 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Conditions

Over the last few years, certain developmental disorders have started to get more attention in society. In particular, autism has become more widely understood. People with autism often suffer from limited communication skills, imaginative capacity and issues with social interaction. These traits can make it difficult for autistic individuals to hold a job. Without a source of income, people may not be able to meet their basic needs.

People with mental conditions, including autism, may be able to rely on Social Security Disability benefits when they are unable to work. SSDI benefits can help people with mental conditions support themselves. However, people must qualify for benefits before they are able to get them.

In order for autistic individuals to qualify for benefits, according to the Social Security Administration, a series of elements must be met. First, there must be medically documented evidence that three elements are present. These elements include a restricted list of interests and activities, defects in the person’s imagination and nonverbal and verbal communications and defects in the person’s ability to participate in reciprocal social interactions.

Second, these issues must result in two of four consequences. These consequences include

  • Episodes of extended decompensation
  • Difficulties with social functioning
  • Difficulties maintaining pace, persistence or concentration
  • Restriction of daily living activities

If a person meets these qualifications, then the person has fulfilled one of the many requirements necessary to get SSD benefits. Whether or not a particular person qualifies for SSDI benefits is a specific legal question that cannot be answered by this blog post. For answers to specific legal questions, Michigan residents should consider speaking with an attorney.