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Aspergers syndrome and SSI benefits

Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “If I have a son who has Asperger’s syndrome is it possible for him to qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits?” Asperger’s syndrome, which was identified in 1944 by an Austrian doctor, Hans Asperger, is a type of pervasive developmental disorder which is considered on the autism spectrum and causes delays in socialization and communication. People with Asperger’s syndrome may have challenges dealing with other people and may suffer developmental delays. getting-social-security-benefits

Aspergers syndrome and common symptoms

  Although individuals with Aspergers syndrome may exhibit a wide array of traits and characteristics, there are several which are quite common for most people including: Aspergers syndrome does not generally result in severe development delays. In fact, children with this condition may have normal intelligence and language skills. There are other behaviors, however, which may be out of the range of “normal” and can be an impediment to strong social relationships, especially as the child ages.

Identifying Aspergers syndrome in your child

  Identifying Aspergers syndrome can be much more difficult than identifying other developmental delays, such as Autism. Children with this condition may have delayed physical developments such as difficulty crawling, walking, or tossing a ball, but other developmental skills may be normal. For instance, they may learn to talk at the appropriate intervals, but over time parents recognize their language is more stilted than other children their same age. As the child ages, however, the condition is likely to cause a variety of difficulties: problems with co-workers, problems interacting with their peers, depression, anxiety, and difficulty navigating common social interactions.

Aspergers Syndrome and SSI benefits

  The Social Security Administration or SSA offers disability benefits for children who have both physical and mental health conditions which are so severe they cause developmental delays and which are expected to last at least 12 continuous months. Claimants must also have very limited income and assets to qualify for SSI benefits. There are a variety of conditions which may qualify for SSI benefits, and many of these conditions are listed in the SSA listing of impairments or blue book. To make a disability determination the SSA will first review if your child’s condition is listed in the SSA Blue Book. If it is not, the SSA will determine whether it is as severe as a listed condition.

SSA Listing and Aspergers Syndrome

  Aspergers syndrome is not specifically listed in the SSA Listing of Impairments, but other similar Pervasive Developmental Disorders are evaluated under the listing Mental Disorders 112.00, Section 112.10 Austistic Disorder and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders. If you have sufficient evidence that your child’s condition “meets or exceeds” this listing your child may qualify for SSI benefits. For example, under the listing the SSA will evaluate whether your child has the following: The SSA will also evaluate how these deficits affect your child’s impaired cognitive or communicative functioning, age-appropriate social functioning, age-appropriate personal functioning, and whether they have severe problems concentrating and finishing tasks. If the SSA determines your child’s condition meets or exceeds this listing, assuming they meet the non-medical requirements for SSI benefits, your child will be approved for SSI.