Key members of Congress are demanding an investigation into whether a fast-growing, $10 billion federal disability program designed to serve poor disabled children is flawed in multiple ways, including the possibility that it creates incentives for families to put those children on psychiatric drugs.
A top member of the US House Ways and Means Committee, along with Representative Richard Neal and Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, issued a letter asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate the striking rise in the number of children receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits, or SSI, for behavioral and mental issues such as attention deficit disorders and depression, and whether low-income families are tempted to put their youngsters on psychiatric drugs “to improve their chances’’ of qualifying. It also asked investigators to examine whether the Social Security Administration, which runs the program, can effectively screen new recipients and adequately determine when children’s conditions have improved to the point that they are no longer eligible for benefits.
Jan 18, 2011
Childrens' Benefits Draw Scrutiny
From the Boston Globe: