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December 2010 Archives

Increasing Number of Young Children Qualify for SSI, Part Two

On Wednesday, we began a closer look at SSI for children, and the increasing numbers of toddlers receiving SSI benefits for delayed speech and similar behavioral and mental disorders. While it is largely undisputed that young children do suffer from speech delays, critics of the program claim that the SSA is ill-equipped to handle the growing load of SSI recipients, and subsequently, that it is failing to monitor children and potentially remove the SSI benefits of children who no longer qualify for them.

Increasing Number of Young Children Qualify for SSI, Part One

Throughout the month, we have taken a hard look at various perceived flaws with the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program that delivers monthly stipends to disabled children and their families. In one final such examination of this program, we will look at the growing number of young children who are receiving SSI for developmental delays and similar behavioral and mental disorders. Critics claim that the Social Security Administration (SSA) significantly mismanages the program by failing to follow up with children to offer assistance in guiding them out of the program.

Do SSI Requirements Force Parents to Medicate Their Children? Part Three

This post is the third in a series examining the potential for improper and harmful medication of children in order to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits. As stated by one mother applying for SSI on behalf of her ADHD-afflicted son, "If your child doesn't have medication, the SSI office doesn't think he has any problem," adding that she knows many parents who exaggerate their child's symptoms so they are prescribed medication in order to receive SSI checks.

Do SSI Requirements Force Parents to Medicate Their Children? Part Two

We previously discussed the notion that the strict eligibility requirements of Supplemental Security Insurance are forcing some parents into the belief that their children must be on medication in order to qualify for SSI for children with disabilities. In recent years, SSI benefits have been increasingly awarded based on behavioral and learning disorders and mental illnesses such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, and developmental delays. While some claim that this has improperly broadened the SSI system far past its original goals, disability advocates say that these disorders are our new reality, and that our government programs must follow along with the times.

Do SSI Requirements Force Parents to Medicate Their Children? Part One

As we have previously discussed in this blog, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can often be a lifeline for families struggling to make ends meet. When compared to other public benefit programs, SSI usually comes out on top. For example, an average parent with two children can expect approximately $600 per month from welfare checks. If just one of those two children receives SSI, monthly payments can double. Yet some health advocates and government officials are worried that parents are taking it too far, placing their children on medication they don't need solely to be approved for SSI benefits.

Children Become Dependent on SSI Benefits for Sake of Family Finances, Part Two

Earlier this week, we wrote about the dilemma faced by children receiving Supplemental Security Income who, as they become old enough to work, are often forced to choose between a part-time income and the SSI benefits their family has depended on for years. Aside from depriving teenagers of the valuable skills learned through part-time employment, SSI dependence can also leave teens unprepared for the likelihood that they will be denied similar benefits upon reaching adulthood.

Children Become Dependent on SSI Benefits for Sake of Family Finances, Part One

We recently wrote about Supplemental Security Income (SSI), under which a child under 18 may qualify for financial support if he has an impairment lasting for at least one year that renders him unable to perform any substantial income-earning work. Physical disabilities, mental and learning disorders, and blindness all may qualify a child for SSI, but there are certain other conditions a child and his family must meet. First, the child must have a condition or combination of conditions that fulfills the definition of disability for children, as set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Second, the income and other financial resources of the child and his family must be within the limits set by the SSA.

Hacker Downloads 15,000 SSD Applicants' Personal Information

Successfully completing an application for Social Security Disability (SSD) is a long, involved process for most applicants. There is a great deal of personal information to enter and paperwork to attach, leaving many applicants feeling vulnerable after divulging such private information. Yet most trust that their information will only be seen by a small number of Social Security Administration personnel, all of whom will handle it with the utmost of care.

Report Proposes that Employers Retain Disabled Workers

In the two decades between 1989 and 2009, the percentage of working-age adults receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) in the United States has more than doubled to just under five percent. Concurrently, the cost of SSD programs has skyrocketed, tripling from 1989's $40 billion to 2009's $121 billion. These increases have culminated in a precarious existence for the program, with increasingly longer wait times for applicants and uncertainty about whether the government will be able to support the program financially for much longer.

Alzheimer's Increases Among Young Workers

Alzheimer's disease is a mental disorder that is commonly thought to affect only the elderly; people who have retired and are in the last years of their life. However, experts say that this debilitating disease has begun to affect younger people who have many years ahead of them in the workforce. This can prove tricky for both employers and employees who are now finding themselves in uncharted territory. Recently, the Social Security Administration has worked to alleviate this burden by fast-tracking the Social Security Disability applications of those who are afflicted with early onset Alzheimer's disease and mixed dementia.

Children With Disabilities May Qualify For SSD

When a child is disabled, dealing with the disability can put an enormous strain on that child's family, both emotionally and financially. Often, these disabilities persist throughout the child's life, and the added stress goes right along with it. Many parents are unaware of the federal programs that exist to provide for disabled children, which aim to help with the added financial burdens that usually go hand in hand with a disability.

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