Having personally endured harrowing financial hardships raising my twins with autism as a single parent, I recently found a measure of peace through successfully attaining Social Security Insurance (SSI) for one of my sons. This is disability insurance that pays a monthly amount of about $700. You have to be in dire straits to receive this money before your child turns 18 because the family income is then included as a determinant of eligibility. However, after your child turns 18, family income is no longer counted, and your child receives that income even if he lives with you indefinitely. The application can be done over the phone in an hour and a half. Releases are signed so you don’t have to submit hard copy records. It takes up to 6 months for the application to be processed and you receive three months back payment in a lump sum, a nice reward for your patience.
After your child turns 18, you as the parent can also apply to his paid caregiver, receiving a paycheck for between 30 to 200 hours per month. Pay is low, of course, ($10/hour plus 7 hours of paid training), but why not be compensated for what you already have done around the clock for the last 18 years?
Another door that opens is Vocational Rehabilitation, a service that identifies your child’s employment needs and helps them to achieve them. Some cost is involved unless your child is on SSI. This program does not pigeon hole your child in menial, repetitive tasks, but truly supports whatever their individual needs may by paying for higher education and/or training programs and the supports that may entail, like transportation or a personal aide to attend classes and help them navigate their day.
If you need help, avail yourself of it. God knows, you’ve earned it.
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