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Feds launching new success program for teen SSI recipients

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be available to children under the age of 18 who suffer from a mental or physical disability recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Additionally, since SSI is a needs-based program, the child also has to have income and resources that are within the eligibility limits. Children eligible for SSI often remain eligible until they turn 18, and at that point may still retain eligibility so long as they meet the SSA's requirements.

The SSA reported that in 2011, more than a million children in the United States were receiving SSI benefits. The SSA has also reported that most children in the program continue receiving SSI when the enter adulthood. In effort to better support children who receive SSI, the Obama Administration has announced a new program called Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income, or PROMISE.

The goal of the program is to improve the long-term prospects of children with disabilities who rely on SSI benefits. Recently, the Obama Administration announced that pilot programs will be launched in several states and up to $10 million per year will be available for each state or team of states that is selected to participate over a period of five years.

The acting assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services at the U.S. Department of Education said that "poor educational outcomes and low employment rates" are preventing many SSI kids from achieving the futures that they are capable of. The program will be aimed at promoting better educational and career outcomes for SSI recipients ages 14 through 16.

“With PROMISE, we hope to provide strong and effective partnerships with agencies to build capacity to achieve better results and outcomes for child SSI recipients and their families," the assistant secretary said.

At this point, it is unknown which states will be participating in the program.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Feds Eye Better Outcomes For Kids On SSI," Shaun Heasley, May 22, 2013

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