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AUTISM BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN

WHAT IS AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER IN CHILDREN?

Autism benefits are available for children who have Autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a medical condition that affects a child’s nervous system, growth and development. Parents usually notice the symptoms of ASD during their child’s first 3 years of life.

For example, some children with ASD seem to live in their own world. They are not interested in other children and they also lack social awareness. A child with ASD focuses on following a routine that may include normal behaviors. However, that same child may often have problems speaking with others. He or she may not start talking as soon as other children or they may be nonverbal. Likewise, he or she may not want to make eye contact with other people.

Experts don’t know what causes ASD. It may be caused by certain genes. A child with ASD may also have problems with their brain structure or with certain brain chemicals. Researchers do know that ASD is not caused by how a parent rears a child. It is also not linked to any vaccines given to children.

To make matters more confusing, Autism spectrum disorder includes conditions that were previously considered separate conditions. For example, the separate conditions include Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder. There are also some doctors that still use the term “Asperger’s syndrome” to describe  symptoms of a child who is at the mild end of ASD symptoms.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER IN CHILDREN

Children with ASD often have problems with  communication skills and in dealing with other people. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not respond well to change in their daily activities. They often have different ways of learning, paying attention, and reacting to the world around them. Typically, the signs and symptoms ASD begin during early childhood and last throughout life.autism benefits - Banner with early signs of kids autism disease. Infographics with text describing the syndromes autistic spectrum disorder in children. Flat cartoon vector illustration

Examples of behaviors in children with ASD can include:

  • trouble relating to others or not having an interest in other people at all
  • avoiding eye contact
  • wanting to be alone
  • trouble understanding other people’s feelings
  • being unable to talk
  • not being able express their feelings
  • not wanting to be held or cuddled
  • appearing to be unaware when people talk to them
  • interest in people, but not knowing how to talk, play, or relate to them
  • repeating words or phrases or repeating words or phrases in place of normal language
  • having trouble expressing their needs using typical words
  • not looking at objects when another person points at them
  • inability to adapt to changes in routine

These are not all of the signs and symptoms of ASD. However, this list includes many of the symptoms. If your child has these symptoms, then you should take them to the doctor and have the doctor run tests. Additionally, symptoms differs between children. For example, some children with ASD are verbal and some are not. The spectrum of the disorder covers a variety of symptoms.

AUTISM IN VERY YOUNG CHILDREN

ASD includes a number of symptoms. So, one exam cannot really tell you much about your child. It’s best to have a team of doctors who are experts in autism examine  and test your child. They might look at these broad areas:

  • Communication
  • Language
  • Motor skills
  • Speech
  • Success at school
  • Thinking

Signs of autism in young children include:

  • not responding to their name
  • avoiding eye contact
  • not smiling when other people smile at them
  • getting upset if they do not like a certain taste or smell
  • repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands or rocking their body
  • not talking with other children
  • repeating the same phrases

You may be worried, as a parent, to have your child tested for autism. But, if your child does have autism then there are many treatments and services that they need. The sooner they can receive treatment, the more help it might give the child.

GENDER DIFFERENCES

The symptoms of autism can be different depending on the gender or your child. Girls , for example, may have more trouble with social cues versus boys, who are more likely to do repetitive behavior like hand flapping. This, however, is not always true. For example, in older boys who are between the ages of 10-15, they tend to have more social issues than girls with autism.

Another issue with gender is that girls are usually diagnosed later than boys with ASD. This could be because of the gender difference in symptoms, the fact that girls may show symptoms later in time, or simply from the fact that the medical world and their forms of testing are sexist. Nevertheless, if your child exhibits the symptoms noted above, then you should seek testing and possible treatment your child.

CHILDREN WITH AUTISM CAN RECEIVE SSI BENEFITS

Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits are different than Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. SSI benefits are a “supplement” to SSD benefits, paid to you if your monthly SSD benefit is a low amount of money or if you have never worked. Learn more about children’s disability benefits here.

In order to win SSI benefits you must meet SSA’s rules. SSI benefits also come with Medicaid benefits. Medicaid is an insurance benefit that pays for visits to the doctor. In order to get Medicaid benefits you must meet the income and asset rules. The SSA, in a child’s SSI case, will look at the income of the child’s parents.

For example, you cannot have extra assets (like a a cabin or a boat) or a lot of money (more than $2000 saved in the bank). The financial rules that govern SSI are complex. Therefore, you need the help of an SSI benefits attorney to help you understand if your child can get SSI benefits.

Many parents wish to qualify for SSI benefits for their child simply to obtain Medicaid benefits. This makes sense considering that medical bills cost so much. Unfortunately, in order to qualify for Medicaid you usually must also qualify for SSI benefits. However, this is not true in all circumstances, so make sure that you apply for Medicaid through your state program. If you qualify for even one dollar of SSI benefits, then you can receive Medicaid benefits too.

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LISTING 112.10 FOR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

In order for you child to win SSI benefits, they must meet listing 112.10. This listing talk about the behavior of your child from age 3 to 19. And, the listing also focuses on  the symptoms of ASD. You will also see the word “qualitative” in the listing. This means that your child’s ASD issues must be measurable in order to count as a severe symptom.

 Autism spectrum disorder – SSA Listing 112.10 under childhood mental disorders

  1. These disorders are characterized by qualitative deficits in the development of reciprocal social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and symbolic or imaginative play; restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities; and stagnation of development or loss of acquired skills.  Symptoms and signs may include, but are not limited to, abnormalities and unevenness in the development of cognitive skills; unusual responses to sensory stimuli; and behavioral difficulties, including hyperactivity, short attention span, impulsivity, aggressiveness, or self-injurious actions.
  2. Examples of disorders that we evaluate in this category include autism spectrum disorder with or without accompanying intellectual impairment, and autism spectrum disorder with or without accompanying language impairment.
  3. This category does not include the mental disorders that we evaluate under neurocognitive disorders, intellectual disorder, and neurodevelopmental disorders

112.10 Autism spectrum disorder for children age 3 to attainment of age 18), satisfied by A and B:

  1. Medical documentation of both of the following:
    1. Qualitative deficits in verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and social interaction; and
    2. Significantly restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.

AND

  1. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:
    1. Understand, remember, or apply information.
    2. Interact with others.
    3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace
    4. Adapt or manage oneself.

THE PART B CRITERIA OF THE ASD LISTING

The SSA uses the Part B criteria along with a rating scale to rate the degree of your child’s ASD. In order to meet the listing, your child’s ASD must meet Part A and Par B of listing 112.00. The SSA only considers the limits that result from the ASD when they look at your case. They will determine whether your child is able to use each of the Part B areas of mental functioning in a school or home setting.

For example, the SSA will consider the kind of trouble your would have at school versus other children in the same grade. They will also consider whether your child needs extra help or structure to function at school and at home. Finally, they will consider whether your child requires special conditions with regard to activities or getting along with other people, including your family and their friends. To learn more about the Part B criteria and how it applies to your child’s ASD case, read here.

You will need medical evidence to prove to the SSA that your child meets the listing. If you don’t have a doctor, we have resources on this website to help you. For example, you can find a doctor on our free and low cost health resources list in Nevada. We also have a list of Utah’s free and low cost health resources. Additionally, we provide a list of free health services in Idaho and a list of free health services in Colorado. If you need to learn more about what you need from your doctor to improve your chances of winning benefits, then read here.

SSA USES SIX DOMAINS TO DETERMINE WHETHER TO PAY AUTISM BENEFITS 

If your child does not meet or equal listing 112.00, then the SSA uses the following domains to examine your child’s ability to perform physical and mental tasks. If you child is having problems with any of the tasks or elements below, they can still be paid benefits under a “functional” evaluation. The functional evaluation for children is similar to the vocational evaluation for adults.

It allows a child to be paid SSI benefits, if the child has two marked impairments or one extreme impairment in the following domains. Typically, a parent and the child’s teachers fill out forms talking about the child’s impairments in each area. A parent can also testify at the Social Security hearing about how ASD impairs the child in these areas.  Each domain below has examples of how a marked or extreme impairment in that domain might exist for a child with autism.

1)  Acquiring and Using Information

This domain centers upon how well a child is able to learn and acquire information and then how well he or she is able to apply this information. As children develop, they should acquire skills in communication, literacy, reasoning and arithmetic. These skills should continue to develop and progress throughout the child’s life.

2)  Attending and Completing Tasks

This domain centers on the child’s ability to focus and keep attention on a task. This focuses on the child’s ability to start a task, continue it and complete it at a normal pace based on his or her age. While children may get distracted, they should be able to retain focus on a given task. It is important that a child be able to follow instructions and complete assignments in a timely manner. This is a domain where you can obtain records from teacher, your school, a teacher’s aide, and a tutor. Your child may have been tested by the school psychologist. We need that report. Additionally, if your child has a caregiver at home during the week they could also submit evidence.

3)  Interacting and Relating with Others

A child is expected to interact well with his or her peers, follow rules and respond to authority. He or she should be able to develop personal relationships with others, such as parents, peers and teachers. He or she should also know that there are social rules and laws that regulate behavior and should be able to comply with them.

4)  Moving About and Manipulating Objects

This domain focuses on the use of gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve moving your arms and legs. For example, you use your arms and legs in activities like jumping and running. Fine motor skills are smaller movements, such as the movement of your fingers or toes. For example, you use fine motor skills when you are grasping or writing. Some children with autism have problems in this area, many do not.

5)   Caring for Self

A child should be able to take care of himself or herself as he or she ages. Children learn how to take care of their own personal needs, health and safety as they get older and mature. This domain also looks at how a child deals with changes in his or her environment. School records are important in this area.

6)  Health and Physical Well-Being

This domain considers the physical effects of a child’s condition and treatment. For example, the child may be taking medication that has severe side effects, like abdominal pain, vomiting, or other gastric issues. Or, the child may be taking medication that causes severe fatigue. Even treatment may affect the child’s physical stamina and cause fatigue. The SSA will look at all medical records and school records to understand your child’s health.

FREE CONSULTATION FOR AUTISM BENEFITS

Obviously, if your child has autism, when you read the six domains, then you understand they are going to have many issues in these areas. If you need to learn more about the six domains that prove childhood disability, then read here. Additionally, we have further information in our article, SSI Benefits – What You Need to Know.

When you contact Cannon Disability Law, you will receive a free consultation. Even better, you do not have to pay any money upfront to hire us to help you with your case. We represent all of our clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we do not win your case, you do not owe us an attorney fee. If we win your case, then you pay your attorney fee out of your back benefit from the SSA.

What does a free consult mean? It means that we will answer your questions about you or your child’s Social Security case for free. If you don’t know how to apply for benefits, then we will help you. Likewise, if you want to become a client or you are wondering if you have a good SSI case, then we will tell you. Our goal is for your child to get autism benefits, so that they can get the treatment they need early in life. If you are an adult and you are wondering if you should apply for adult benefits for autism, then read here.

WHAT IS A FREE CONSULTATION?

You want SSI benefits and you want a great attorney to help you. As SSI lawyers, we offer a free review of your case. But, a free review does not mean we automatically become your attorney. First, we have to accept your case. We only take cases that we think have a chance of winning. Why? Because we are only paid if we win.

Much of our decision depends on what you tell us. Therefore, when you call, make sure you explain all of your child’s physical and mental conditions. For example, we want to know about your child’s symptoms of autism and how your child is doing in school. Additionally, your child may have behavior issues or anxiety. We need to know about those too. Likewise, if your child has a physical condition, like fatigue or abdominal pain, then don’t forget to tell us about it.

WE WILL HELP YOU WIN AUTISM BENEFITS FOR YOUR CHILD

If you or a loved one is suffering from a severe mental or physical condition, you may be wondering whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) will approve your claim for SSD and SSI benefits. If so, call Cannon Disability. We are the only law firm helping SSD and SSI clients in Utah and Nevada with over 30 years of experience. For example, we are rated in the top three SSD lawyers in the state of Utah.

We also help clients in many other states. For example, we have clients in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are also rated in the top three SSD lawyers in the state of Nevada. Find out more about our Nevada legal experience here. We also have clients in Idaho, Colorado and California. Learn about Idaho SSI benefits here. Colorado SSI benefit information and California SSI information can be found here.

Likewise, if you do not have a doctor to help you treat your child, we have information on our website about free and low cost health services in Utah and free health services in Nevada. Seek treatment for your child and use the health resources your state provides so that you can have evidence to prove your child should be paid SSI benefits for autism. If you get treatment, then we will help you get your SSI benefits and fight for the money the SSA owes you under the law. Once you win SSI benefits, as a parent, you will be a representative payee for your child. This comes with rules and responsibility. Read here to learn about the role of a representative payee for SSI benefits.

WORK WITH YOUR LAWYER ON PREPARING YOUR AUTISM BENEFITS CASE

In addition to medical records, your lawyer may request other evidence. For example, this may include letters from your doctor, the school, teachers, and counselors. Your lawyer may want to send in letters from your family or friends. Additionally, there may be other forms that your doctor can complete on your behalf. While these records are only additions to what is already in your child’s SSA file, they can provide valuable support for the SSI claim.

With your file complete and ready to go, you will then talk with your lawyer. This meeting provides crucial information regarding your child’s SSI claim and the court process. Your  meeting is likely the final stage before going to your hearing, so make sure to ask questions at the meeting with your lawyer.

You have a hearing date. You have completed the Notice of Hearing forms and updated your medical records. Additionally, you will have talked to your doctor about the special forms and letters to be written on behalf of your child. Finally, you have prepared with your lawyer to testify at your hearing about your child’s autism. Now it is time for the ALJ to hear your story. So take a deep breath, focus, and speak your mind. It’s the very best way to ensure you receive the help you need. If you need representation at your ALJ hearing, please contact Cannon Disability Law.

CANNON DISABILITY LAW HAS THE EXPERIENCE TO WIN AUTISM BENEFITS

If you want to win SSI autism benefits, then you need to hire an attorney with the experience to win your case. Also, you need a lawyer to show the SSA that your child should be paid SSI benefits. We can do that. Contact us today.

If you want to learn more about our lawyers, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers is an amazing advocate. She can also help you with your Medicare plan. Additionally, she has won thousands of SSD cases. Dianna Cannon has been helping SSD and SSI clients for thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of experience helping people obtain their benefits. We are experts. You can trust us to help you win your SSD and SSI benefits in Utah. Contact us today. Put our experience to work for you and your family.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. If you win SSI benefits, then you also get Medicaid benefits. Also, we help our clients with their Medicare benefits. Our specialists can help you apply for SSI benefits using the SSA’s website. We offer a free review of your autism benefits case. Also, you only pay an attorney fee is we win your case. If we do not win your benefits, then you do not owe an attorney fee. In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases. Become one of our happy clients and contact us today. Put our legal experience to work for you and win your child’s autism benefits.

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