Assistance for those on the Cusp of Adulthood

Autism strikes a family’s heart, soul and wallet.  Estimates by The Autism Society puts a lifetime of care for an autistic child at $3.2 million.  Autism parents know firsthand the brutal toll to the family coffers of therapies that can run $40,000 to $50,00 per year.  Families tangle with insurance companies, invariably ending up with many out of pocket expenses.  Educational instability generated by schools unable to provide a safe learning environment creates tremendous hardship as parents relinquish employment to home school their child, or move them to private schools in search of the elusive best case scenario.  Relocation to other states is frequently necessary to track down more generous insurance, autism services and competent school systems. 

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.

About the Author
Susan Moffitt

2 Responses to Assistance for those on the Cusp of Adulthood

  1. Marylou Zambrnao says:

    Hi Susan,
    My daughter is 19, and has been receiving SSI for a year now, and works at Publix. I have been homeschooling her most of her life. She did attend RLA in WPB, because I doubted my ability to continue. Unfortunately, while attending RLA, her academics digressed. Even though she did make friends there, and we have kept in touch, I pulled her out and have been bringing her academics back up. We are now working on Pre GED workbooks, as she wishes to go to college. She does work at Publix as a bagger, but she says she does not want to do this forever. Still not sure what she wants to do, which is very normal for most young adults.

    Anyways, I kind of went off in another direction. You had mentioned that I can get compensated anywhere from 10 to 200 hours. How do I go about doing this?

    Also, reading about the Vocational Rehabilitation, how do I proceed with this, As I have always been her shadow. Would I do this with her CDC+ money, which is very little? We are at a point that I feel helpless, because I know she will definitley need aide to attend any classes. I have been praying about this, and just happened to run across your write-up here. I believe everything happens for a reason.

    I truly hope you can help somehow…

    Thank you, and God bless,

    Marylou Zambrano
    C/O daughter, Celine Zambrano

  2. Susan Moffitt says:

    Well, stuff may vary from state to state, but here in WA DSHS assigns mental health provider hours for the disabled who are available through agencies. Parents can become that person by going through the same paid training that agency workers do. Here you do this by going through DDD or the Dept of Development Disabilities.

    The job training is through DVR or the Dept of Vocational Rehab. They have weekly orientations after which you apply and are assigned a counselor to come up with a education/vocational plan.

    Best of luck to you and your daughter!

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Important Disclaimer

All information in this site is presented for support and educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for medical treatment or visiting a licensed medical physician.

Visitors who desire to apply or use any information listed herein are urged to consult with licensed healthcare professionals first. All information is deemed reliable but its accuracy can't be guaranteed.

Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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