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Apr 27, 2012

Child Disability Contractor Sought

     Social Security is seeking a contractor to do the following over a 36 month time period:
  • Examine how SSI [Supplemental Security Income] disability cash payments for children affect children and their families.
  • Compare national trends in diagnosing mental disorders (including, but not limited to, ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder], autism, bipolar illness, depression, and learning disorders) and speech/language disorders in children to trends in the SSI disability program for children.
  • Investigate the use of prescription medications for children with mental disorders.
  • Identify whether the receipt of SSI payments creates an unintended culture of dependence, particularly among adolescent recipients.
  • Evaluate the effect of SSA's [Social Security Administration's] "treating source" rule.
     The request for proposals goes on to say that the contractor chosen will:
  • Examine and evaluate the rise in the number of children on SSI, and compare to the national diagnostic trends in children with mental disorders (including, but not limited to, ADHD, autism, bipolar illness, depression, learning disorders) and speech/language disorders.
  • Identify factors (such as national poverty levels, access to health care, destigmatizing mental illness, changes in special education programs) that correlate with, or cause a, rise in the number of children on SSI with mental disorders and speech/language disorders.
  • Identify the appropriate and effective treatment protocols for mental disorders and speech/language disorders in children, and determine to what extent the treatment for these disorders in SSI children is consistent with national treatment trends.
  • Identify which mental disorders and speech/language disorders are amenable to treatment and subject to improving with age.
  • Investigate the treatment of mental disorders for children on SSI.
  • Are medications prescribed improperly for this population?
  • Are physicians under pressure (explicit or implicit) to "help families make their case for" SSI payments?
  • Evaluate whether SSA's medical source/treating source rules leave the SSI disability program for children vulnerable to manipulation or abuse.
  • Evaluate to what extent, if any, the receipt of SSI cash payments creates a "culture of dependence" among children with disabilities and their families.
  • Determine the relationship, if any, between a child's receipt of SSI cash payments and future school and work success.
     And Social Security wants the contractor to:
Organize outreach conferences with transcription services to provide a neutral ground for debate and analysis of emerging issues related to the evaluation of disability in children, such as the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders and speech/language disorders, and assessment of functional limitations, identified during the contract's period of performance (as approved by SSA) to be held in the Baltimore or Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

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  • 11 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    say buh-bye to child SSI.

    It's a helpful program for low-income families. However, it shouldn't be fun under the guise of a "disability" program. If society wants to give these familes money, let's be upfront about it and call it welfare.

    Otherwise, limit SSI payments to funds that are directly paid for healthcare targeted directly at the alleged disability.

    9:09 AM, April 27, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The real damage of children's SSI comes when the age 18 re-determination is done. ADHD and asthma might be severe enough for payment as a child but rarely is enough to warrant adult disability. Too often kids who could move into the work force appear before an ALJ at age 19-21 having never even applied for a job because they've been told for years they are disabled and they discover DDS and the judge disagree.

    9:24 AM, April 27, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    anon @ 9:24...spot on.

    9:44 AM, April 27, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm usually as liberal as they come but as a claimant's rep I hate kid's SSI cases. Much more often than not, it's just the parents looking to make a quick buck on a kid's cough. I would propose this: to get SSI under age 18, you must MEET an adult listing. No functional equivalence or any of that other stuff. No listing, no benefits. That should eliminate most of the frviolous claims while still paying the genuine cases.

    10:05 AM, April 27, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    SSI always has been a welfare program. Congress should give real consideration to a "family max" for these benefits, to limit the cash benefits any one family unit may receive. The 36 month study is a classic stall tactic that subverts addressing the issues.

    SSI for children was just one paragraph inserted into the law at the last minute that resulted in millions of dollars in Federal expenditures.

    10:36 AM, April 27, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    @10:05

    Have you heard of the Zebley case? Supreme Court doesn't agree with you. Of course, you could change the law, but as is, it won't fly.

    11:16 AM, April 27, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    12:06 PM, April 27, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I agree with 10:05 AM, April 27, 2012. But as a beneficiary i suggest in addition to that recommendation SSA/Congress should
    craft state age based legislation. Meaning prohibiting benefits to children who cannot legally work 8hrs 5 days a week.

    2:44 PM, April 27, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The SSI child cases are also a magnet for illegal aliens with their disabled children that get benefits. And then we are supposed to "deem" whatever these illegal parents say is their income and resources, since they are illegal we can't really know for sure what they actually own, can we? I will be so happy to retire when they offer the next early out. This job is too stressful with these disabled child cases and the crazy workloads that somehow I am supposed to manage.

    And as 11:16/042712 said, it will just be another court case whatever they do. And Martinez Court case comes to mind. Court will overturn and then the poor, overworked claims reps will have to fix.

    6:46 PM, April 28, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The field office workers (not management) have my sympathy for their efforts and sweat in trying to make the SSA program work.

    5:58 AM, April 29, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why don't we save a lot of money and donate the dollars to the sinking trust fund(s).
    A majority of the children's SSI payments are indefensable on any logical basis, policy, or just considing what the parent [singular, or their boyfriend] does with the added cash.

    There are graduate students that would write up any report and marshal data, for free and get academic credit.
    This could be a 'pro bono' contract given to the Federalist Society for grad students at Liberty University, Regents U., Grove City ....

    6:08 AM, April 29, 2012  

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