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Raising a child is already expensive. Raising a child with autism can be even more costly.
Since autism treatment can require many doctor visits, therapist visits, and medication, many families cannot afford the cost of caring for an autistic child.
However, the government may be able to help. Here are some benefits that your autistic child may be eligible for:
Social Security Administration's Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Your autistic child may be able to get SSI payments. To be eligible, your child must have a mental or physical condition that causes "marked and severed functional limitations." The condition must disable your child for at least 12 months. The symptoms of autism often fit this definition.
Income is also a very important eligibility factor. If your child is working, then he cannot earn more than $1,090 a month. When your child is under 18, your income may be taken into consideration to determine your child's eligibility. When your child is over 18, your income is no longer considered. Often, autistic children who were ineligible for SSI before they turned 18 may be eligible after turning 18.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Usually, your child would not be eligible for SSDI because he has not worked for the required amount of time. However, if you have started receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, then your adult child may be able to receive benefits as well.
As long as your child developed a disability before he became 22 years old, he can receive benefits when you start receiving benefits. He will be eligible for benefit payments for as long as he is disabled. Your child does not need to have worked to get SSDI benefits.
If your child is disabled and over the age of 18, he will often be eligible for your state's low income health insurance program. In addition to health insurance, you may be able to get services such as home care, hospice care, or transportation.
Because programs are different in each state, an experienced local disability attorney will be able to help you apply for government benefits for your child.