April 30, 2010

Autism and Social Security Disability

Autism is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a disabling condition. Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects social interaction and communication skills. Some symptoms of autism include, but are not limited to, repetitive or restricted behavior or lack of communication. The majority of Attorney Scott Lewis‘ disability clients attempting to receive disability benefits for autism have been children. While most of these clients are children, adults with autism may also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability payments. Indiana disability claimants facing this impairment may be entitled to disability benefits.

Found in the SSA’s Listing of impairments, Section 12.10, Autistic Disorder and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders (in both the adult and childhood listings) are the criteria required by the SSA for meeting the requirements for people with autism. There are several different types of autism including, but not limited to, Classic Autism and Aspergers Syndrome.  According to the SSA, the required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied.

A.  Medically documented findings of the following: 

All of the following for autistic disorder: Qualitative deficits in reciprocal social interaction; and qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity; and markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests;

OR

Both of the following for other pervasive developmental disorders: Qualitative deficits in reciprocal social interaction; and qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity;

AND

B.  Resulting in at least two of the following: Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.

Many of the types of autism that Attorney Scott Lewis observes are Classic Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, Childhood Intergrative Disorder, Rett Sydrome, and Pervasive Development Disorder.  In Scott D. Lewis’ Social Security disability law practice, he sees a wide variety of symptoms associated with autism. Many times these individuals have difficulty with communication and interacting with the society as a whole. The range and severity of symptoms seem to vary greatly. In his experience, some of these disability claimant’s autism cannot be detected in superficial contact with the public. Upon closer observation, the impairment is quite clear. Many of these younger individuals will never be able to live independently and will most likely be unable to perform substantial gainful activity.

While much research is being done on the cause and prevention of autism, the truth remains it is an increasing diagnosis of disability.  If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with autism and believes Social Security disability might be an option, contact Indianapolis Social Security Disability Attorney Scott Lewis today for a free consultation at (317) 423-8888.

Filed under:Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments
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