SSDI & SSI for Autism

Chicago Lawyers Explain Social Security Disability Benefits for Autism

If you or your child have been diagnosed with autism or another spectrum disorder, you may qualify for disability benefits under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). When you need help shouldering the burden of medical bills and the costs of living, it can seem like you have no place to turn. But there is hope.

Our Chicago Lawyers Help You Qualify & Apply for Disability Benefits for Autism

At Nash Disability Law, our lawyers are focused on getting to know your and your child’s specific needs. Our team has the experience of over three decades and thousands of cases to help you and your child file and get the benefits you both need and deserve. Our lawyers know the system at both the local and federal levels, and they’ll get the right piece of evidence, at the right time, to the right person, in the right way to successfully get the benefits you deserve.

Disability Requirements for Autism

Autism is a complicated diagnosis for the Social Security Administration to determine if you deserve benefits. you must have four diagnosed symptoms: two symptoms associated with social interaction impairments, one “restricted or repetitive behavior” impairment, and one communication impairment.

In addition, your autism mus cause srious limitations in at least two of these areas:

  • Social Functioning:
    • The SSA will examine your or your child’s ability to form & keep relationships with such people as peers, parents, and other adults
  • Personal Functioning:
    • The SSA’s medical examiners will evaluate your or your child’s self-care skills, such as cleaning, feeding, and grooming yourself.
  • Maintaining Concentration, Persistence, and Pace:
    • The SSA will look at your or your child’s ability to focus attention on a job, stick with it, and maintain the same pace on the task
  • Cognitive & Communicative Functioning:
    • The SSA may use standardized testing to determine the effects autism has had on cognition or ability to communicate

Should You Apply for SSI or SSDI for Autism?

Autism is one of those impairments which can be used to qualify for both the income-dependent SSI or the traditional Social Security benefits from working.

If you or your child has never worked and you are below a certain threshold of income and assets, you may qualify for SSI, or Supplemental Security Income. Adults without work history, children, and adult children are eligible for SSi but the process can be complex and you should consult with our lawyers to make sure you fit the criteria for SSI.

On the other hand, if you have work experience that has paid into Social Security, but the symptoms from autism have made you unable to work, you are eligible for SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance. These are benefits that are paid to you to replace your typical income.

Because of the complexity of the conditions and the criteria for disability, autism can be denied on the first attempt to apply. Don’t give up! Nash Disability Law is here to help you appeal your denial and will help you every step of the way including in Federal Court.


Thank you so very much for your help with my disability claim.  Please thank each and everyone who helped in getting this done. Every time I had questions and had to call you for advice, whomever I spoke with at the time was very helpful and polite and most of all caring. Once again, Mr. Nash, thank you so very much.

- Luisa
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