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Parents of  children with  autistic spectrum disorders or any disability should develop a long-term financial plan that may include the following:

  • Supplemental security income (SSI)
  • Special Needs Trust and Will
  • Guardianship

Supplemental Security Income
Children with autistic spectrum disorders may be  eligible for Medicaid and for monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While a child is under the age of 18 these benefits are based on parental income.

Parents should not forget that on their child's 18th birthday, despite their income level, many teens with autistic spectrum disorders will become eligible for SSI benefits and Medicaid on their own. If you would like more information about your child's eligibility for these benefits, call our department at (914) 995-6752.

Special Needs Trust and Will
If you have a child with a disability, and if you anticipate your child may inherit resources, you may want to set up a special Needs Trust.  The Special Needs Trust allows your child to maintain state and federal benefits while protecting resources for items and services typically not covered by government benefits. You should contact a lawyer to help you ensure that your child's rights are protected.

Guardianship
Unless you have made prior legal arrangements, all teens including teens with ASD become adults and their own legal guardians on their 18th birthday. If an individual is not capable of making responsible decisions a formal evaluation should be done to determine the need for guardianship.

If it is determined that your adult child is not able to make responsible judgments you will then need a lawyer to help designate a legal guardian for your adult child. Parents may remain legal guardians, or an adult sibling, relative, a family friend, or a professional may be designated.