Asperger's Syndrome and Social Security Disability

Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. Although autism and Asperger’s syndrome have similarities, individuals with Asperger’s syndrome are typically high functioning and have a normal degree of intelligence. Asperger’s syndrome affects social behaviors and interactions.

Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome include:

  • A limited range of interests – may become hyper focused on just one or two subjects
  • Poor verbal communication skills – monotonous speech and long one-sided conversations
  • Poor nonverbal communication skills – no eye contact and awkward body language
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Difficulty empathizing with others
  • Depression/Anxiety

Applying for Social Security Disability with Asperger’s Syndrome

As individuals with Asperger’s syndrome grow older, they often find it becomes increasingly difficult to cope with their condition. Because social interaction is extremely challenging for those with Asperger’s syndrome, finding and maintaining a job can be difficult. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Asperger’s Syndrome in the Social Security Disability Blue Book

Because Asperger’s syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder, it is among the conditions that qualify for disability benefits. Asperger’s syndrome is classified in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book now under Section 12.10 – Mental Disorders. Asperger's syndrome was formerly under the SSA's "Autistic Disorders and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders" Blue Book listing.

Further Reading: What Conditions Qualify For Disability?

Severity Requirements for Asperger’s Syndrome SSD Approval

To be approved for disability benefits with Asperger’s syndrome, the following requirements must be met:

  • Noticeable difficulties participating in reciprocal social interaction
  • Noticeable difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Trouble participating in imaginative activities
  • Significantly limited number of interests

The condition must also cause at least two of the following:

  • Restrictions of activities of daily living
  • Significant difficulty socializing with others
  • Difficulty maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace
  • Repeated and extended episodes of decompensation

Medical Documents Required for SSD Approval with Asperger’s Syndrome

In order to be approved for Social Security Disability, medical documentation must demonstrate that the applicant has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and that his or her symptoms prohibit them from working.

This medical evidence can include:

  • Results of psychiatric tests
  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Letters from physicians detailing symptoms and impairments
  • Medical history

When compiling medical documentation, it is crucial to demonstrate the severity, duration, and frequency of the applicant’s symptoms.

The Importance of Having a Social Security Disability Attorney

A disability lawyer will help present your case accurately and increase your chances of being approved.

Additional Resources