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Congress pushes SSA to conduct reviews of SSI recipients

Children can be eligible for benefits from the Social Security Administration if they suffer from certain disabilities or illnesses. Children in New York with these medical issues, which include behavioral and learning disabilities and mental disorders, can apply for and receive Social Security disability payments under the Supplemental Security Income program indefinitely under current enforcement rules.

As many in New York are aware, the Social Security disability program, along with the other SSA programs, is suffering financially. The trust that sustains funding for these invaluable programs is on track to run out in the coming years. However, some have made suggestions for saving money while keeping the programs running.

One suggestion that has been offered as way to save money from the SSI program revolves around monitoring the progress of children who receive benefits. A report indicates that the SSA could save $9 for every $1 it spends on reviewing the cases of 400,000 children recipients who suffer from hard-to-measure mental, learning and behavioral issues. Under current rules, the cases of child recipients of SSI benefits are scheduled to be reviewed once every three years.

With 1.3 million children now receiving payments through SSI, there is a need to monitor the cost of the program. However, due to the importance of the benefits to many families, there is little desire to alter the amount of money recipients receive each month. It is an expensive endeavor to raise a disabled child, and the help from SSI is vital to many, though some critics say more attention should be paid to oversight issues to ensure that those receiving the payments continue to qualify under SSA guidelines.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Report: Robust review of children's disability aid is needed," Patricia Wen, May 24, 2012

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