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Children with autism may qualify for SSD benefits

Parents of autistic children are acutely aware of the fact that their children’s medical condition can be a truly costly one. According to data compiled by Harvard’s School of Public Health, directly related medical and non-medical costs associated with caring for a child with autism can amount to between roughly $67,000 and $72,000 annually. Thankfully, financial support programs do exist for those who qualify.

Autistic children may require numerous medications, different kinds of therapy, specialized child care, special education and direct medical care. Low and middle-income families may struggle with the financial burdens of these services. However, qualifying families may be able to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in order to better provide for their autistic child or children.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) places a variety of qualifications and limits on children’s ability to receive SSD benefits. However, a child may qualify if his or her condition meets certain criteria and if the child’s parents meet certain qualifications. Most importantly, the autistic child may not be engaged in substantial work and his or her autism must have resulted in severe and marked functional limitations.

If the SSA believes that a child’s developmental deficits are substantial enough, the child’s parents must then submit their income information and other qualifying information for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits consideration. The process of obtaining SSD benefits for an autistic child is not ordinarily easy. However, an experienced attorney can help parents of qualifying autistic children navigate the process and secure benefits when possible.

Source: Autism Support Network, “Social Security Disability benefits for children with autism,” Molly Clarke, Aug. 6, 2013

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