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Children's SSI Disability Benefits at Risk ... Again

By Rebecca D. Vallas & Elaine Alfano

A growing number of children receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be at risk of unfair termination of their SSI. About 1.2 million low-income children with severe mental and physical disabilities receive SSI, keeping many of them and their families above the poverty line. “Welfare reform” and spurious allegations of false disability claims, mental disability in particular, led to the earlier narrowing of the definition of disability for children’s SSI by Congress and a significant cut in the number of child SSI recipients. Critics are again alleging SSI abuse, especially by children with mental disorders. Pressure on the Social Security Administration to sept up its continuing disability reviews may cause disability cessations for child claimants who are found to have medically improved. Advocates need to prepare to assist these claimants in keeping their SSI.

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