Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Social Security Disability benefits for autism


Millions of Americans suffer from mental health conditions that drastically affect their lives. For these individuals, merely carrying out everyday tasks can be a challenge. Work, therefore, is often out of the question. This is not because they don't want to work, but because they are physically, emotionally or intellectually unable to do so. This can create significant financial strain on them, and many are unable to get by without some sort of assistance. Fortunately, the Social Security Disability system may be able to provide these individuals with the relief they need and deserve.

One commonly diagnosed condition that may qualify for SSD benefits is autism. According to the Social Security Administration, an individual may qualify for SSD benefits if he or she can demonstrate that he or she meets certain federal requirements. The first step in qualifying for benefits is showing that one has significant deficits in communication, both verbal and non-verbal, as well as social interaction. Second, a claimant will have to prove that he or she possesses patterns of behavior that are restrictive in nature and that affect his or her behavior, activities or interests.

Once those elements are satisfactorily shown, then a claimant must show a number of other limitations. Those limitations may include the ability to understand information, socialize with other individuals, concentrate or manage him or herself. The number of these limitations that must be shown is dependent on the severity of one's condition.

Many times, those seeking Social Security Disability benefits find their initial claim denied. This can happen for any number of reasons but most commonly because medical evidence is lacking. Therefore, those who are preparing to file their initial claim, as well as those who are seeking to appeal a claim denial, should carefully consider whether they would benefit from obtaining legal advice. This will ensure they are well informed and take proper action for his or her situation.

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