Every day, countless Americans with unique mental conditions find that they face hardships that others simply do not share. And, while these mental conditions are often difficult enough to deal with by themselves, they can be especially challenging when they make it virtually impossible for the individual to work and earn income on a daily basis.
Thankfully, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are often available to those who suffer from mental conditions that make the goal of holding down a job unattainable. For instance, in certain circumstances the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers autism a condition that may qualify as a disability entitled to benefits.
Importantly, a disabled person with autism may be eligible for several types of disability benefits if they qualify, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In particular, SSDI is a program that provides benefits to disabled workers and is based on the disabled person’s work history and taxes. Thus, if a disabled individual with autism has always been unable to work due to his or her disability, SSDI will likely not be applicable as he or she has no work history. However, this person may still qualify for SSI.
SSI provides benefits to those disabled individuals who have little to no income, and there are no work history requirements to qualify for SSI. In fact, SSI does not require an applicant to have worked at all. Consequently, SSI may be a viable option for those with autism that have been unable to work their entire lives, or if they do work, have minimal incomes.
But, each person’s situation may be different based on his or her particular circumstances and disability, which is why it is always best to review your options before making any important decisions.
Source: Age of Autism, “Autism and Social Security Disability Benefits,” Molly Clarke, July 10, 2013