Can You Receive Disability Benefits for Autism (ASD)?

The wide-ranging severity of ASD makes it challenging to understand which cases could qualify for Social Security disability benefits and which don’t. The condition is typically diagnosed by a medical professional and is followed by various therapeutic and medical treatments. In many cases, even mild autism can significantly impact the person’s daily life suffering from the condition. More severe cases may qualify for benefits assistance.

Autistic Child Qualification

If an autistic child under 18 has parents with low income and assets, he or she may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For consideration and potential application approval, the child must meet the requirements found in the SSA’s listing 112.10, of the childhood “Impairment Listings.”

Autistic Adult Qualification

Autistic adults can meet the requirements under the SSA’s Impairment Listing 12.10. Otherwise, an adult can get a “medical-vocational allowance,” if they are in fact unable to work full-time due to the ASD.

There are various ways that children and adults can meet the listing requirements, but detailed medical documentation and results will likely be required. For adults, the SSA might require evaluating the applicant’s residual functional capacity (RFC), which indicates the ability to perform normal functions related to work. Children may have separate evaluations related to development and growth.


A disability like ASD is extremely serious, and navigating the benefits approval process is something you shouldn’t have to do alone. A trusted Social Security claims attorney can help you whether going through the process for the first time or gearing up for an appeal. Even with less severe disabilities, application approval is often difficult and requires a professional to help guide you through the dispute process. Call Drew L. Johnson, P.C. today at (541) 434-6466 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.