Supplemental Security Income for ASD Adults

Definitions of Childhood Disability for Supplemental Security Income
The Social Security Administration defines different disability categories that can be found in their publication called Disability Evaluation under Social Security, sometimes referred to as the Blue Book. Warning: the Social Security Administration does not use Person First language. Autism and autism spectrum disorders are listed as 112.10 Autistic Disorder and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders under Mental Disorders. Children must meet the A and B criteria.
A. Medically documented findings of the following:
1. For autistic disorder, all of the following:
a. Qualitative deficits in the development of reciprocal social interaction; and
b. Qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity; and
c. Markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests;
or
2. For other pervasive developmental disabilities, both of the following:
a. Qualitative deficits in the development of reciprocal social interaction; and
b. Qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity;
and
B. Impairment-related functional limitations are dependent on the child’s age and must be documented medically. The functional restrictions in paragraph B must be the result of the autistic disorder or pervasive developmental disability. A child aged 1 to 3 years would meet criteria if their communication or cognition or gross or fine motor development or social functioning is no more than one-half of the child’s chronological age. For older children ages three to 18 years, they must have a two areas of marked impairment in:
a. age appropriate cognitive/communicative function
b. age appropriate social functioning
c. age appropriate personal functioning
d. difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence or pace
The above functional limitations for older children should be documented by medical sources as well as reports from parents and others who know the child well. Parents can write a letter describing the impact of their child’s disability on these areas. Information from teachers, friends, and others who interact with the child regularly can be valuable in providing a picture of the child’s functioning in his or her daily life. When disability for a child is determined impairments in acquiring and using information, attending and completing tasks, interacting and relating with others, moving about and manipulating objects, caring for self, and heath and physical well-being are all considered. Other developmental disabilities may be found online in the Blue Book under Childhood Listings (Part B), 112.00 Mental Disorders.
Adult Income and Resource Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income
When children with disabilities who have been receiving SSI and/or RSDI turn 18 years old they must apply again for these programs as an adult. If the child had not been eligible he or she might be eligible for SSI as an adult. This is because different medical criteria apply and income and resources are counted differently for adults. One difference is that the adult must meet the disability criteria as well as not be able to work at a substantial level which is defined in 2011 as the ability to make more than $1,000 a month.
In most instances the young adult is considered a household of one. This means that only his or her income and resources are counted. However if this young adult is living with family or others and is not able to pay this or her fair share of living expenses the young person could have a reduction of one-third in their SSI amount as the living expenses are considered subsidized. Income from a spouse is also counted toward total income. With earned income, every month the first $85 is disregarded and what remains decreases the SSI amount by $1 for every $2 earned. Unearned income such as a pension or social security benefits received on a deceased, retired or disabled parent have a disregard of $20 a month and then decrease the SSI amount $1 for $1. The resource limit for an individual is $2,000 and $3,000 for a couple.
Definitions of Adult Disability for Supplemental Security Income
Adult definitions of disability are also found in Disability Evaluation under Social Security (aka the Blue Book) under the Mental Disorders section. The adult section is labeled 12.10 Autistic Disorder and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Again both the A and B criteria must be met.
A. Medically documented findings of the following:
1. For autistic disorder, all of the following:
a. Qualitative deficits in reciprocal social interaction; and
b. Qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity; and
c. Markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests;
or
2. For other pervasive developmental disabilities, both of the following:
a. Qualitative deficits in the development of reciprocal social interaction; and
b. Qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity;
and
B. Resulting in 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
Remember while a medical diagnosis is neceSSAry, parents, teachers, friends and others can provide important information about the limitations on the person’s ability to handle daily living activities and social interactions. Giving concrete examples of where the person struggles help give the disability determiner a picture that cannot be found in a medical document or psychological evaluation.
– See more at: http://autismnow.org/funding-and-public-policy/social-security-benefits/#sthash.W2F9FOyw.dpuf

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