The Chase Academy - Innovative Education for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders"


There are cases of children receiving social security disability benefits for Autism. This is an avenue that your family may wish to explore. The information provided below is not to be taken as legal advice. It has been copied from the Social Security Administration website ( to assist you in determining whether or not you should pursue this option further.

If you believe your child may qualify for this benefit after reviewing the material below, The Chase Academy recommends that you meet with an attorney that handles social security disability cases to determine whether or not you have a viable claim. This will not cost you anything, and in most cases, you will not be required to pay for attorney fees if your claim is not approved. If the claim is approved, the legal fees are usually deducted from the social security back pay you will receive, so that there is no out-of-pocket burden to the family. The Chase Academy recommends the services of Attorney Luis Gracia of Rue & Ziffra at 632 Dunlawton Avenue, Port Orange, FL 32127. Their office can be reached at 386-788-7700. Please ask for Tina or Lauren, and tell them that you were referred by Eileen Taft, Director of Funding. The Chase Academy does not receive any compensation or benefit for this referral. This is simply a service to help point you in the right direction. SSI is a Social Security disability program that provides benefits to a disabled child if:

Social Security has a strict definition of disability for children.

A state agency makes the disability decision. They review the information you give to the Social Security Administration (SSA). They will also ask for information from medical and school sources and other people who know about the child.

If the state agency needs more information, they will arrange an examination or test for the child, which SSA will pay for.

The chart below can be used as a tool to help you determine whether or not your family may qualify for this benefit.

Earned Income is wages, earnings from self–employment, certain royalties and honoraria, and sheltered workshop payments.

Unearned Income is all income that is not earned, such as Social Security benefits, pensions, State disability payments, unemployment benefits, interest income, and cash from friends and relatives.

Some of your income may not count as income for the SSI program. Examples of payments or services that are not counted as income for the SSI program include but are not limited to:

As an example: suppose you have 3 children in your family, your monthly gross wages are $1900.00 and your spouse’s monthly gross wages are $2500.00.

$4,400.00 combined monthly gross wages
<20.00> not counted
<65.00> not counted
$4,315.00 divided by 1⁄2
$2,157.50 countable income

It is important to understand that your countable income of $2,157.50 does not exceed the limit of $4,042.00 (from the chart below) as does your combined monthly gross wages of $4,400.00, so in this you would certainly want to speak with an attorney as you may indeed be eligible.

The Deeming Eligibility Chart for Children does not apply when:

To apply for disability benefits for a child, you will need to complete an Application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) AND a Child Disability Report. The report collects information about the child’s disabling condition and how it affects his/her ability to function.

At this time, only the Child Disability Report can be completed online. You must contact SSA to schedule an appointment to complete the SSI application (1-800- 772-1213). They will help you in person or by phone. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

If you decide to go to an attorney, (s)he should be able to assist you with this application process.