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Benefits in the US in being diagnosed Level 1...?

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Amy Stone, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. Amy Stone

    Amy Stone Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am sorry if this has been covered before, but I want to make sure I understand everything correctly before making any final decisions.

    Can anyone tell me what the benefits are of being diagnosed ASD Level 1 on the spectrum in the US? I specifically mean social security, disability, counseling, medical, employment, school, etc. I am looking into it for myself and my 16 yo.

    Thanks all
     
  2. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️

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    For us, I couldn't keep employment, even though I met (or excelled in) the basic requirements for the tech jobs that I was working. (I even won a patent for one employer.) I have been unemployed & under-employed for so much of my adult life.

    Once I received my diagnosis (age 45), I began to understand that my lack of social instinct was (unintentionally) disruptive to the team environment that was sought, and negatively affected communication (even though I was using the same words). I am not physically nor mentally disabled. I am socially handicapped. My attorney said that was a valid condition.

    If you have worked enough accumulated hours --even if you lost many jobs-- you are eligible for SSDI.
    If you have not, you are only eligible for SSI, which is less.

    ASD1, alone, doesn't always qualify. I had other doctors who insisted that I was schizotypal (against my objections*). My attorney used both diagnoses to win my case. More about disability attorneys...

    I was past school when I was diagnosed, but my ASD1 son had some accommodations like shortened homework assignments and extended times for timed tests (a source of anxiety).

    *A schizotypal diagnosis placed my guardianship of my daughter in jeopardy. ASD1 did not.
     
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  3. Amy Stone

    Amy Stone Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Crossbreed Thank you for taking the time to respond. This is exactly the inside info I am trying to understand.
     
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  4. Amy Stone

    Amy Stone Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  5. Amy Stone

    Amy Stone Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This clarifies what I surmised myself: that with Level 1 ASD it would be more harmful to get diagnosed. For kids, the benefits are mostly when they are in the school system. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.
     
  6. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can't speak to the questions about social security, disability benefits, etc but I can speak about my personal experience and employment since I have ASD LV 1. It's a recognized disability under the ADA. Therefore, if an autistic person needs "reasonable accommodations" at work in order to continue to do their job without undue stress, anxiety, hardship, etc they can request such accommodations because of their diagnosis.

    It was definitely a benefit for me to disclose my diagnosis and ask for the accommodations (that I received) from my employer. It turned a job into something sucky that I hated into a job that I can tolerate (because I can now work from home permanently which would NOT have been an option had I not disclosed).

    I know everyone's employment situation is different, but it can't be said that disclosing a diagnosis to an employer is more harmful than not disclosing.

    Also, if a person discloses a disability to their employer and than got fired related to their disability in any way, they would have a valid case against their employer. However, if they did NOT previously disclose, got fired and then disclosed afterward...no recourse.
     
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  7. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️

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    I'm glad that worked out for you.
    IMX, if you disclosed and you had a jerky boss, s/he would concoct another reason before they fired you. (But that is less likely when it is a seller's-market economy...)
     
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  8. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    ASD level 1 alone won't get you any SSI or SSDI. But that's not the end of the story. Many, and I would say most, people with autism have co-morbids, some psychiatric and some physiological. So definitely do list any diagnoses that might contribute in any degree to your inability to maintain employment. For instance, chronic pain, migraines 6 times a month, IBS, carpal tunnel syndrome, anxiety, depression. Often no single diagnosis from this list is disabling in itself but together, they can be.

    Secondly, it's actually a plus when it comes to collecting disability to document getting fired repeatedly. That proves that you tried, and failed, to hold a job.

    Be prepared to document (with dates, locations, doctor's names, etc.) everything in your application.

    I'll hold off on how the diagnosis affects your child because I have less experience with that.
     
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