Medical Questions > Mental Health > Autism Forum

Asperger's/Mild autism + Physical disability. Eligible for SSI?


I'm posting this in the hope of helping a good friend. Here's her basic information.

-23 years old.
-Aspberger's or mild autism.
-Small body size and very limited physical capability.
-Mental health issues including self harm.
-Never gainfully employed. Fired from simple, tips-only job, five hours, one night a week.
-Unable to concentrate on anything even vaguely tedious, no matter how simple.
-Destructively impatient and overly emotional. Prone to rages.
-Uninsured. (Pending due to ACA.)
-Facing poverty and homelessness.

I used the preliminary test (B.E.S.T.) on the SSA website to see if she might be eligible for SSI, and it found that she might be eligible. Does anyone have any experience with this?


A good friend of mine is somewhere on the shallow end of the autism scale. She's intelligent but has poor (and by poor, I mean virtually nonexistent) concentration for any task which she finds too "disorganized" or "stupid." She's impatient to the point where it stops her from performing simple tasks.

She was unable to complete the opening of a PayPal account to sell some handmade items she makes. She became frustrated and infuriated almost instantly upon seeing that the website had text she had to go through and was unable to figure out how to work the site, even though it's quite user friendly and she's very computer literate. I could not convince her to try to be patient and learn to use it. The volume of unengaging text rendered her completely nonfunctional at this task. She went into a rage-filled panic attack.

She also has some serious physical maladies. She's 23 years old, about 5"2', and weighs 80 pounds. She has been underweight all her life and it's nearly impossible for her to gain weight. She has renal glycosuria (she excretes sugar instead of retaining it) and may be having episodes of hypoglycemia. She's predictably unable to lift much weight and becomes exhausted easily. I've done volunteer work with her and she's nearly incapable of physical labor.

She may also have some pressing mental health issues and has engaged in self harm. (She has sharpened her fingernails to better scratch her own face.) She's emotionally unstable, becoming unreasonable and overly angry or sullen when she's upset, and she focuses on and magnifies small problems. She becomes angry, petulant, and rude when things do not go as she expects or plans, and she frequently alienates people. She's sometimes paranoid that people are judging, manipulating, or trying to harm her and may react to individuals as though they are actively doing so. She's known to fly into rages and, in spite of her small size, has managed to overturn and destroy things when she does. A few months ago she destroyed her iPhone when she threw it.

She is very creative and has a high I.Q., but she has never been gainfully employed and I seriously doubt her ability to do tasks such as paperwork. She has worked for tips as a point-and-click disc jockey in her uncle's club, using his music and equipment. This was five hours one night a week, but she fought with her uncle and was fired. She's capable of doing creative or engaging tasks with infinite patience but dissolves completely when faced with anything outside her realm of understanding.

She's currently living with her mother (who is chronically unemployed, alcoholic, and no help at all) and great-grandmother, who is the homeowner, 91, and declining. They will not inherit her home. My friend's options will be extremely limited when her great-grandmother dies.

I'm very seriously concerned that my friend will not be able to maintain employment. I'm doing this for her because, as near as I can tell, she won't/can't and no one else will help her. I want to help her apply for SSI so she'll have some kind of financial security.
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replied December 12th, 2013
A lot of the emotinal instibility could be do to her mothers alcholism, or the thing that caused it; much of the time it isnt just one thing that's the problem, but many and its best to try to help in wide varitey of ways,for the best effect, it is a possibley that she dosent agree with soem of her mental diagnoses and blames it on other things in her life and maybe if she realley dosent(to her or in reality) it could be one of the causes of anger etc. With aspergers or autism diagnoses or possibley more you can get a bit of SSI money or disabitly money but im not sure how much, best to call in your questions to an orginization; i dont know whast best for her but you should know no matter what keep trying and fighting and in the end both of you will win; sorry i couldnt be much more help goodluck.
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