On Wednesday, we posted about talks in Congress that might result in cuts to Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits for disabled children. Today we mention a few of the numbers behind the program that help us arrive at a better understanding of it.
SSI for children with disabilities is a program available to lower income Americans who have children with disabilities. Financial guidelines determine whether you are eligible for the program. If your family’s income exceeds the eligibility levels, you will likely not be able to receive SSI benefits for disabled children.
Here are other facts that help us understand that situation better:
- The program has grown by 40 percent since 2000, but, in absolute terms, the numbers are not as staggering – 1.2 million low income families receive the benefits, or 1.6 percent of all American children
- Some growth should naturally be expected for multiple reasons – an increasing number of Americans live in poverty (some 45 million this year), medical doctors and psychologists are increasingly better equipped to make early diagnoses of disorders, and the Supreme Court opened up eligibility for the program in the 1990s in order to accommodate children suffering from mental and behavioral afflictions
- Verification of disabilities for children has a similar standard as for other Social Security Administration (“SSA”) disability programs, but the standard is actually more difficult to meet than the standard for adults. It requires clear evidence from medical experts and professionals to qualify for SSI benefits for disabled children, but for children the decision is based on medical evidence alone and does not consider other factors that would be considered for an adult.
- Families who are receiving the benefits are subject to ongoing review, and, every year, a fifth to a third of benefits end when the SSA determines that children are no longer eligible
How have disability benefits for your disabled children helped your family cope with the difficulties of raising a child with special needs? More information on eligibility for the SSI program for disabled children is available from a Tulsa OK SSI lawyer.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys