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Can my autistic child receive disability benefits?

If your child has been diagnosed with autism, you may be able to apply for benefits on the child’s behalf. According to The Arc of the United States, Inc., you will need to show evidence of your child’s condition in order to be found eligible for Social Security Disability.

One of the things you will need to provide proof of is that the condition has created limitations on your child. For instance, if your child is enrolled in a school, you could have the teachers document the struggles your child faces, both socially as well as physically and mentally. Maybe your child doesn’t react well in social situations when someone new is present. Perhaps he or she has trouble following directions or accomplishing assigned tasks. Each of these should be documented by anyone who has regular interaction with the child.

Additionally, you should collect medical evidence that shows your child demonstrates that he or she cannot engage in all of the activities that other children can, due to the condition. You will also need to show that there is a distinct lack of response from your child in connecting with others. Additionally, the evidence must back up the claim that your child does not demonstrate the same level of imagination in his or her actions as other children, and that there is a lack of nonverbal and verbal skills found in other children of the same age.  

If your child is over the age of 18, any income the child receives is used in the eligibility process. If your child is under 18, then the household income is used as well as any other assets you may have, such as retirement, rental property and stock. This information is purely for educational purposes and should not be used as any form of legal guidance or counsel.

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