Parents of children with disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), often can access benefits and services for their children. Here are a few services that the State of Delaware is legally obligated to provide:

1) Medical Assistance/Medicaid

Medical Assistance in Delaware has several programs that may support an individual with a disability. Medical Assistance is obligated to provide services which include inpatient, outpatient hospital, physician care, and laboratory and x-rays. There also exists an employment program unique to the state of Delaware, Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities, which strives to provide workers between the ages of 16 and 64 with financial benefits in the form of an unearned income. In addition, Medicaid may give “wrap-around services” to the child in need, covering play-dates, community outings, and use of recreation facilities.

A child’s qualification for Medicaid is dependent on the following conditions: a family income under 185 percent of the federal poverty level for children under age one; a family income under 133 percent FPL for children age one to five; or a family income under 100 percent FPL for children age six through 18.

2) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides security for children with disabilities by providing monthly benefits to cover medical costs in order to treat their impairment. You may qualify for SSDI if your family’s income and assets fall below the SSA limit. Assets, as defined by the administration, are either cash, which can be in a checking or savings account as well as in a stock or bond, life insurance policies, household goods and personal effects, real estate other than the home, or motor vehicles.

There are three ways to apply for SSI: online, by phone (1-800-772-1213) or by going to a local Social Security office.

3) Services under the Autism Reform Act of 2012

In 2012, Delaware became the 32nd state to enact autism insurance legislation. The Department of Health and Social Services determines the services that must be provided by health insurance. Covered services include diagnosis, behavioral pharmacy, health treatments, psychiatric, psychological, therapeutic care (including speech, occupational, or physical therapy) and care for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Health insurance is obligated to provide these services if you or a relative has been diagnosed with autism.

4) Post-Secondary Education Support

Support may be available in post-secondary schooling for students with disabilities depending on the programs that are offered at the school (be sure to consult with the school’s disability services office). However, some young adults hesitate to disclose their disability due to the discrimination that may and most likely will result. The benefits of disclosure would include legal protection under the American Disabilities Act, and may also grant the student greater freedom. The students’ disadvantage could be as significant as being overlooked while applying for employment or feeling isolated in their learning space.

Students with disabilities may be entitled to a reduced course load, extended time on exams, and the provision of auxiliary aids and services.