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For children with Asperger's syndrome, a service dog may help

So far, our blog has talked about individuals that can be helped by Social Security disability insurance benefits, but this program cannot be used by everyone. Because this federal disability program is designed for individuals who have worked long enough to pay into the disability benefits system, children and individuals who cannot work or who have not worked long enough aren't eligible. In an effort to address these individuals' needs, the federal government awards Supplemental Security Income benefits.

These benefits, just like disability insurance benefits, are crucial to individuals living with disabilities. Whether that is the only income a person has access to or it merely supplements household income, it helps to cover the numerous costs of living with a disability.

One such cost might be the purchase of and care for a service dog. Long used by people with vision impairments, service animals are becoming increasingly common for other conditions, too. One boy from Colorado has been using a service dog for his Asperger's syndrome and has really come out of his shell.

While each child will react differently to a service animal, prison-trained dogs like this boy's could be very helpful for children in New Jersey with Asperger's syndrome. This boy's dog was trained specifically with his disability in mind, meaning that the dog is well-suited to helping the boy deal with focusing.

Though service animals are another important tool in the life of a person with disaibilities, it is important to remember that failing to apply for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security disability insurance benefits could make the care of a service animal impossible.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Prison-Trained Dog Proves Pivotal For Boy With Autism," Kirk Mitchell, Jan. 28, 2014

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