SSI Disability Benefits for Children Facing Cuts

One of the more beneficial programs run by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) is in jeopardy of being cut, as it has become the target of critics of Social Security. Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) for children provides much needed benefits to low income families with children who are severely disabled. Raising children suffering from severe disabilities is difficult, as families often pay out thousands a month for medications, therapy and other special needs.

SSI for children became a target in the aftermath of a series of articles that appeared in The Boston Globe newspaper last winter. Those articles referred to SSI for children as “The Other Welfare,” suggesting that low income families were turning to it instead of welfare benefits. Journalists wrote that families in the Boston area believed they could receive the SSI benefits if their children had prescriptions for psychotropic drugs.

Members of Congress took note and called for investigations into alleged abuse of the SSI system. They wanted to reduce incentives for families to put their children on prescription drugs in order to obtain SSI benefits. Oklahoma applicants considering SSI may wish to consult a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney.

The calls from Congress seemed to be more of a knee-jerk reaction, however. An SSA study found that children taking ADHD drugs were not any more likely to receive SSI benefits than those suffering from ADHD who were not using medication. Several mental health organizations as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics have campaigned against the proposed cuts to SSI for children. While the large growth in SSI for children is a cause for alarm, harming families trying to raise children with severe mental afflictions should not be a consequence of any proposed changes.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa SSI lawyers

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