Autism spectrum disorder and disability benefits

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Mental Impairments, SSD Benefits

Autism spectrum disorder is a mental disorder that affects California residents in a variety of different ways. There are different ranges to the autism spectrum, and in some cases, people with autism spectrum disorder may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

People on the lower end of the autism spectrum may be able to hold a job and have a successful, thriving career. For people on the higher end of the spectrum, this may be more difficult, as they struggle with communication skills and social interaction.

Other traits of autism spectrum disorder can include acting impulsively or aggressively or having a short attention span. When the disorder makes obtaining or maintaining employment difficult, people may rely on disability benefits to meet their basic needs and care for themselves.

Obtaining medical documentation

To qualify for SSD benefits for autism spectrum disorder, medical documentation must be provided showing qualitative defects in both verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as social interaction. Documentation showing activities, behavior or interests that are restrictive or repetitive is also required.

In addition to the medical documentation, evidence must be presented showing an extreme limitation in the ability to do one of the following:

  • Adapt or manage yourself
  • Apply, remember or understand information
  • Concentrate, persist or maintain pace
  • Interact with others

As an alternative, if a marked limitation is shown with two of these things, benefits may be available.

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex condition that affects each person differently. Assessments are typically done to determine exactly where on the spectrum a person falls, and what is recommended to enable the person to live as full and productive a life as possible. Each situation is different, and this can make proving a case for benefits challenging. Fortunately, qualified and helpful legal advocates are available.