What Types of Public Benefit Programs Are Available to Autistic Adults?

There are many public benefit programs that are available to Autistic adults. 

Most benefit programs are designed to meet essential needs such as health insurance, food assistance, income subsidies, employment assistance, independent living skills, and transportation.

Some of these programs, such as Social Security are federally funded and are largely the same in every state. Social Security provides income subsidies to qualified disabled individuals. Other programs are federally funded but are different in each state (e.g., Medicaid), which is health insurance for certain low-income or disabled individuals.  Housing programs are federally funded but are locally administered at the town or county level.

There are some programs to help Autistic adults achieve “Additional Needs” such as their post-secondary goals, improve their social connections, explore recreational activities and interests, and expand savings.

Helpful Tips:

  1. The public benefits landscape is complex. Identify your goals and then focus your energy on obtaining those public benefits that will help you reach your goals, before you spend energy on other benefit programs.
  2. Parents and caregivers need to recognize that the previously mentioned goals need to be those of the Autistic adult.  
  3. Watch the video A Conceptual Roadmap for Understanding Benefit Programs for Autistic Adults in AANE’s 2023 Jody Acford National Conference Video & Resource Collection: Public Support Roadmap for Autistic Adults

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