Monday, July 15, 2013

Applying for SSI Benefits for a Child with Autism

This Featured Guest Article was written by Ram Meyyappan, from Social Security Disability Help, an organization that works to promote disability awareness and help individuals navigate the Social Security Disability application process. Please welcome her and thank her in the comment section below!   ~Lorrie

If you have a child who suffers from autism, it can take a financial toll on your family. Chances are that either you or your spouse will need to leave the workforce in order to tend to the needs of your child. The resulting lack of income can wreak havoc on your finances. Fortunately, in many cases, Social Security Disability benefits can help.

A child who is suffering from autism may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from birth until age 18. It is important to understand, however, that SSI is a needs-based program. In order to be approved for benefits, your family will need to meet the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s financial criteria in addition to proving that your child is medically qualified for disability benefits.

Meeting the Financial Requirements of SSI Benefits

In order to meet the financial requirements for SSI benefits, your income and assets may not exceed the threshold that has been set by the SSA. As of 2013, this means your monthly income cannot exceed $710 as an individual or $1,066 as a couple. Your assets must also not exceed $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple in order to qualify for SSI.
You can learn more about SSI here:

Meeting the Medical Requirements

When filling out the disability paperwork, you will want to demonstrate that your child has problems in specific areas including self-care and severe behavioral problems as well as documentation showing his or her diagnosis of autism. You will want to address problems with your child’s adaptive behaviors, learning, mobility skills, and capacity of independent living. Written statements from your child’s treating physicians can be very beneficial to your child’s Social Security Disability claim.

How to Apply for SSI

To apply for SSI you can go into your local Social Security office or you can file online at the Social Security website ( You will want to make sure to answer all questions as thoroughly as possible. Also make sure you include medical records documenting the above-mentioned facts when submitting your claim.

What to Do in the Case of a Denial

Almost 2/3 of disability applications are initially denied. If you receive a denial letter from the SSA, you have 60 days from the date of the letter to appeal the decision. The first stage of appeals will be the Request for Reconsideration. Do not be alarmed if this request is denied. Fewer than 20 percent of these requests are actually approved by the SSA. The next stage of appeals is when you will have the best chance of winning your case. This is the disability hearing. At this stage of appeal your case is heard before an administrative law judge.

It is in your best interest to have legal representation at this hearing, since a disability attorney will know the laws that pertain to your case and how to use those laws to your benefit. There is no upfront cost to hiring a disability attorney. These attorneys are only paid if you are successfully awarded benefits.

Guest Article by:

Ram Meyyappan
Social Security Disability Help
For more information on Autism and Social Security Disability benefits, please visit:


  1. Its a nice info for SSI benefits. Here are steps for SSI benefits, what should we do when applying for SSi benefits...
    social security Las Vegas Nevada