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Social Security help for autistic children

Parents of children with developmental disabilities know the struggle it can be to obtain services for their children. But according to a new study conducted at West Virginia University, parents of children with autism may experience more difficulties in obtaining the help they need when compared to parents of children with other developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

The study, which looked at data from a survey taken in 2009-2010, showed that caregivers of children with autism were more likely to experience challenges in obtaining services because of eligibility, appointment delays, availability and even just difficulty obtaining information about what services are available.

In addition to the above difficulties, parents and caregivers of autistic children are more likely to leave a job, experience insufficient insurance coverage for their child, and to have troubles with shared decision-making than parents and caregivers of children with other developmental disabilities.

Children with autism, no doubt, can be a challenge to care for. For parents who have limited income and assets, financial assistance may be available through a Social Security program called Supplemental Security Income. The latter is different from Social Security disability benefits, which would only be available to adults with autism who have a work history from jobs that paid into Social Security. Alternatively, an adult child with autism may be able to obtain SSDI benefits on the earning record of the parent.

Those with questions on Social Security benefits for children with autism should contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney to look into their options for assistance. 

Source: Disability Scoop, “Study Finds Autism More Challenging For Caregivers,” Michelle Diament, December 20, 2013.

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