While SSDI supports adults who had to quit working due to their disability, it may also help those who become disabled before they turn 22. Since most adults with qualifying autism experience their first symptoms as children, they do not have the work experience required for SSDI. However, adults with autism can apply as adult disabled children if their parents receive retirement or disability benefits.
What is autism spectrum disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that changes how a person develops. People with ASD tend to communicate, interact, behave and learn differently than most. While their abilities vary significantly, some people with ASD cannot function in a work environment. For example, autism can affect:
- A person’s ability to communicate
- A person’s ability to understand acceptable behavior
- A person’s ability to learn and focus
While scientists do not know what causes autism, there is evidence that autism can be inherited.
What symptoms do eligible adults need to prove?
To qualify for SSDI, adults must prove that they have an extreme limitation in one or marked limitation in two areas of mental functioning. Those areas include:
- The ability to understand, apply and remember information
- The ability to interact with others
- The ability to adapt or manage him or herself
- The ability to maintain pace, persist and concentrate
Adults should have medical documentation that shows significant restrictions or repetitive patterns of behaviors, activities and interests, along with deficits in verbal, nonverbal and social communication.
While adults with autism can qualify for SSDI, it can be a complex process because it is a hidden disability requiring much documentation.