SSI For My Now Adult Autistic Son

SSI For My Now Adult Autistic Son

You would think that it would have been easy to get SSI approved for my son once he became an adult.  It wasn’t.  It was a lot easier to get guardianship through the courts than getting SSI approved.  The fact that he had SSI before he turned 18 help, either.

After 3 months of going around with Social Security, my son was finally approved.  Was that it? No.  Then we had to do another evaluation to ascertain that his disability status hadn’t changed.  Some of the questions that I held up the process were frustrating.  They wanted to know what treatment he was undergoing, and the re-evaluation was to see if he was cured.

I hated having to deal with the questions from them.  You would think that their so called medical professionals that are in charge of determining eligibility would understand what it means to be diagnosed as low functioning autistic.  A child diagnosed at age of 5 isn’t going to be suddenly “cured” at the age of 18.

My son has made a lot of improvements over the years.  My family celebrated, and still celebrates, the smallest of achievements.  For other parents, these aren’t considered milestones.  They are things that are taken for granted.  For a parent of a child that is low functioning autistic, his smallest success is a major achievement.

I know that there are procedures that Social Security has to follow.  Every disabled person has to follow the same set of procedures.  That doesn’t make you feel better when it is you going through it to get your adult child approved.  I also know that I will have to go through the re-evaluation process once a year.

I have learned one very important lesson when dealing with the Social Security office.  Things go smoother if you conduct everything in person.  Also, go prepared.  Make copies of everything and take them with you.  You should have his latest school IEP, all current medical evaluations, a copy of his medical records from when he was first diagnosed, any and all therapy evaluations.  The more you have to give them, the less that they have to request.  That means they can complete the process of approving your now adult child.  You don’t need to take him with you, but if you have been named legal guardian already, bring them that paperwork, too.  When dealing with getting your adult child approved for SSI, more is always better when it comes to paperwork you can provide.

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