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Asperger’s Syndrome and Social Security Disability

Asperger’s Syndrome is a type of autistic disorder which generally affects communication and socialization. Those who have Asperger’s Syndrome typically view and interact with the world around them differently than others, which can cause a great deal of difficulty in relating to other people. The distinguishing trait of Asperger’s is a singular focus on a very limited range of topics (often only one topic) and a disability to focus on other tasks, activities, or instructions. This often leads to repetitive behaviors, difficulty understanding humor or any other non-direct form of communication. Another common trait of Asperger’s in difficulty empathizing with others.

Because Asperger’s does not typically cause language delays, per se, it is often seen as a mild type of autistic spectrum disorder. However, for those who deal with the condition, it can have a significant impact in daily living. Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome commonly experience depression and other mental illness, as well as a sense of alienation.

How to Apply for Social Security Disability with Asperger’s Syndrome

Children or adults with Asperger’s Syndrome may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Children are limited to SSI (Supplemental Security Income). To qualify for benefits, the parent’s must meet strict income guidelines and it must be shown that the child has significant impairment in learning, completing age appropriate tasks, interacting with others, caring for himself and/or other basic functions which require an unusual amount of extra attention from the parent or caregiver. If your child is granted SSI as a child, his case will be reviewed when he becomes an adult to see whether he qualifies for adult disability benefits.

If you are an adult applying for Social Security disability based on Asperger’s Syndrome (or are representing an adult applying for benefits), your claim will be judged based on the guidelines laid out in the SSA’s Blue Book, under Section 12.10, which deals with autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders.

To qualify for disability benefits under the Blue Book listing:

  • you must have medical documentation showing that you have an autistic spectrum disorder which affects your social interaction, your communication, and your ability to focus on activities outside of your immediate interests.
  • You must further be able to show that this has a marked impact on your daily activities, your ability to function in social situations, or your ability to focus on a task at hand.

If you suffer from depression, other mental illnesses, or any other disability, you will want to include that information in your claim as well, even if it is not related to your Asperger’s Syndrome. If your condition alone does not meet the SSA’s requirements for disability, they will consider the effects of all of your disabling conditions to determine whether you can reasonably be expected to find and maintain gainful employment.

Your Asperger’s Syndrome Social Security Disability Case

Many Social Security disability claims are rejected. Of these, many could have been approved if the evidence had been presented optimally. Everyone going through the Social Security disability claims and appeals process should strongly consider hiring a Social Security disability lawyer. This is especially true for those claiming disability based on conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome, where some of the medical evidence may be subjective.

Social Security disability attorneys can work with you and your health care professionals to ensure that your claim includes the kind of evidence needed for the SSA to award you benefits. You are entitled to help from a Social Security lawyer, regardless of whether you have just started to apply for benefits or are in the appeals process. Local Social Security lawyers provide free initial consultations, and all fees collected by your disability attorney come from the initial back pay awarded to you when your claim is approved.

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