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Young Marr remains dedicated to our clients during this COVID-19 quarantine. We understand that legal needs of our clients must go on during this time. In order to minimize disruption as much as possible, we are offering free consultations via phone and/or video and can have our clients submit documents virtually.

Qualifying for Disability Benefits (SSDI) with Autism in Pennsylvania

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that roughly one out of every five Americans lives with some sort of disability, including approximately 3.5 million Americans living with a form of autism.  Autism belongs to a group of conditions classified as Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), also referred to as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), and can sometimes interfere with a person’s ability to work and earn a regular income.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop for medical issues, and as bills and other financial obligations continue to pile up, the inability to work can become a major source of stress and anxiety. However, there may be relief in the form of monthly disability benefits.  These benefits are overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and can make a tremendous positive difference when it comes to financial management and covering the costs of daily living.

To schedule your private case evaluation with a disability attorney free of charge, call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates today at (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.

Disability Benefits Process in Pennsylvania

While SSA benefits are a valuable resource for millions of Americans, actually qualifying to receive them is notoriously difficult.  Unfortunately for SSI and SSDI applicants, the statistics point to far higher rates of rejection than acceptance.   The national average hovers around a dismal 36%, meaning well over half of all program hopefuls will be rejected after their first attempts at qualifying.

If your application is rejected, you have the option to go through the appeals process, which often includes a hearing before an ALJ or Administrative Law Judge.  The experienced disability attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates have decades of experience representing thousands of clients in these matters and will work with you to present the strongest application possible.

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits with Autism

The SSA looks at disability applicants on two basic levels: do they pass the general requirements? If so, do they also pass the requirements for their specific disability?

There are specific requirements for an autistic child to qualify for fo Social Security Benefits.

The general requirements are that the applicant:

  1. Is not currently earning more than $721 per month.  This is the 2014 FBR (Federal Benefit Rate).
  2. Has a disability severe enough to prohibit employment.
  3. Has a disability which has lasted (or is expected to last) at least 12 consecutive months, or to end in death.

Then, the applicant will be measured against the criteria for his or her condition supplied by the Listing of Impairments, or “Blue Book.”  (However, even the applicant doesn’t exactly match the criteria supplied in the Listing, he or she might still be able to qualify based on something called a medical-vocational allowance, which weighs mental and physical abilities against factors like age and education.)

Eligibility information related to autism and ASD/PDD conditions can be found in the Listing under Section 12.10 of Section 12.00, Mental Disorders.  Under Section 12.10, “The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied.”  So what are those requirements?

If you have autistic disorder, you will need to display all three of the following to the SSA:

  1. “Qualitative deficits in reciprocal social interaction.”
  2. “Qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity.”
  3. “Markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests.”

If you have a different PDD condition, such as Rett Syndrome, you will need to display both of the first two qualities listed above (i.e. deficits in social interaction, as well as in communication and imaginative activity).

In either case, the “deficits” (and “restricted repertoire” for applicants citing autistic disorder) must result in at least two of the following:

  • “Marked restriction of activities of daily living.”
  • “Marked difficulties in maintaining” either social functioning or “concentration, persistence, or pace.”
  • “Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.”

By the SSA’s definitions, examples of “activities of daily living” include but are not limited to “cleaning, shopping, cooking, [and] taking public transportation.”  Likewise, “decompensation” refers to a temporary worsening or increase “in symptoms or signs accompanied by a loss of adaptive functioning.”

You can view the full text of Section 12.00 here, including autistic disorder information here.

Call a Pennsylvania Disability Lawyer Today

If you are living with autism or an ASD/PDD condition such as Rett Syndrome or Asperger Syndrome, you may be able to qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance).  An experienced disability benefits attorney can help. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates at (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.  Disability claims can take months or even years to be fully evaluated, so don’t delay: call us right away to start exploring the possibilities.

ALL CASES ARE OVERSEEN BY FORMER SOCIAL SECURITY LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES

Before coming to Young, Marr & Associates, our SSD attorneys worked for the SSA which gives us an advantage over attorneys who have never dealt directly with the internal SSA system. We know the process is difficult – your job is to get better, and our job is to make sure you get the disability you deserve.

Chances are you are preoccupied dealing with a painful illness. You are concerned about your financial future, about how you will get by without a steady source of income.

Read what our clients have to say about us.

DISABILITY LAW

“I have already recommended Paul Young numerous times. He was honest, explained endlessly in terms that were understandable. Paul Young guided me through the process from beginning consultation to the end of case. Highly satisfied and grateful for his expertise.”

–Leslie

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12 Convenient Office Locations

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Quakertown

328 W Broad St
Quakertown, PA 18951
Tel: (215) 515-6876
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Philadelphia

7909 Bustleton Ave, First Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19152
Tel: (215) 607-2715
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Bensalem

3554 Hulmeville Rd, #102
Bensalem, PA 19020
Tel: (215) 515-6389
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Marlton

10000 Lincoln Drive E, Suite 201
Marlton, NJ 08053
Tel: (856) 213-2805
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Bala Cynwyd

2 Bala Plaza, Suite 300
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Tel: (610) 557-3209
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Jenkintown

101 Greenwood Ave
Jenkintown, PA 19046
Tel: (215) 544-3347
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Mt. Holly

27 Cedar St
Mt. Holly, NJ 08060
Tel: (609) 796-4344
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Piscataway

200 Centennial Ave, Suite 200
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Tel: (908) 367-7256
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Allentown

137 N 5th St, Suite A
Allentown, PA 18102
Tel: (215) 240-4082
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Easton

101 Larry Holmes Dr, #212
Easton, PA 18042
Tel: (215) 515-7077
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Hamilton Twp.

3525 Quakerbridge Rd, #903
Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
Tel: (609) 236-8649
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