Oct 31, 2013

The Need For Children's SSI Benefits

     Three professors have produced a paper for the Heller School for Social Policy and Management of Brandeis University documenting the hardships faced by families receiving children's Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Even with the children's SSI benefits 45% of the families are unable to meet all their essential expenses, 21% are unable to pay rent, 42% are unable to pay all their utility bills and 24% are unable to receive needed medical care.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a ssdi beneficiary. My views on this matter has evolved. SSI should be for adults who cant or have problems working. SSA should deduct extra tax from parents to cover children if they become severely ill,qualifying for disability.

Anonymous said...

just call it welfare and get rid of the "disability" requirement.

If it's not available for families with money, why do we make poor families show that their child is "disabled"?

It's a farce and a poor one at that.

Anonymous said...

The name it's self, SUPPLEMENTAL Security Income, indicates it's not intended to be the SOLE source for the family!

Anonymous said...

So, after reading the brief study, it appears SSI is actually unnecessary and doesn't make any significant improvements for the families receiving it vs the families that don't.

Anonymous said...

I question the objectivity and thoroughness of this study. The SSI disabled child receives free medical care. The SSI disabled child very rarely is the cause of any additional utility bill expense. The SSI disabled child rarely is a significant factor in any increases in household expenses beyond those that exist for any other child in the household including rent or any other essential expenses. Parental behaviors are what causes most of these financial and social hardships. Too often their behaviors contributed to the child's disability that resulted from drug and alcohol abuse and/or failure to properly care for the child. While there are child disabilities caused by birth defects, accidents, and various illnesses, we cannot ignore the role of the parents as the driver in creating many hardships for both their disabled and not-disabled children. Giving more money to them does not fix the problem. The best solution is to provide needed medical care and education for the disabled child, but for financial support just include the child as part of the regular provided welfare benefits given to such households. This solution also ends the fraud promoted by some parents to get their child on SSI so much more money comes to the household.

Jak Manson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You do not get benefits from your child's benefits; rather, the parent is sent a check for the child (or multiple checks for multiple children), even though the parent rarely needs the extra income to meet any disability-related need of the child as the child already receives Medicaid and support services at school. Child SSI, generally, is nothing more than a way of giving a select group of poor people extra cash.

Anonymous said...

@ the 10:26am bagger, so anyone who gets SSI only should only get SSI if they get SS or SSDI? Most people who get SSI are white, fraud may exist with childrens SSI, but then I've read childrens SSI doesn't have to meet the same qualifications, which I think is wrong. Now as to adults, some will say there is massive fraud, so far all I've heard is massive anecdotes from Repubs/baggers(know nothings/klan/libertarians)...

Social Security News said...

Don't waste your time leaving links to your law firm or other entity representing Social Security claimants. I'm going to take it down ASAP. What kind of fool do you think I am? No one's using this blog for SEO other than me. If you work at SSA and don't know what SEO is, well, let's just say it's one of the many things you'd learn about if you were running a business.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it is time to do means testing before allowing people to have children.. If abortion is legal, why not just allow the government to terminate pregnancies of those that can't afford the children.. After all, wouldn't this be the best for the child?? It would certainly be the best for society in so many ways..

Anonymous said...

What does race have to do with anything I posted at 10:26? It's a true statement. I'm not sure what your issue is, but perhaps higher education would help. Maybe then you wouldn't need to resort to childish name calling.

Anonymous said...

Disability payments should replace lost wages. children don't work and don't have lost wages, so we shouldn't pay them disability benefits. period.

Anonymous said...

I agree alittel with the spirit of
2:29 PM, October 31, 2013. Radical but it's time to license people who want children. Almost everything is licensed. This would involved a genetic background test for severe diseases. And a gainful potential background test. Perhaps a temporary sterilization at birth for everyone. This would save social security alot of money and lead to a better society. Btw,i have a genetic illness and on ssdi.

Anonymous said...

Temporary sterilization at birth for everyone, eh? Maybe you should think about that one some more.

Anonymous said...

SSI is a culture. It is an entire society, integrated vertically and horizontally, through generations of direct descendants and added to with extended families, stepfamilies, boyfriends, girlfriends, all living together long-term or intermittently. Parents drop out of the workforce to live on their children's SSI. Boyfriends live on their girlfriends' SSI, and their children's SSI. They receive food stamps, free school meals, rental subsidies, WIC, Medicaid. And they still can't pay their bills. Because money is not the problem.

Anonymous said...

I think 7:39 is right on target. Lack of money is not the problem.


Middle income families are often surprised that they can't get the freebies for their disabled child that the poor get. The SSI families are often incensed that SSI goes down when parental income goes up.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:08,

I don't think you read the report correctly. It shows that families with kids with disabilities are much more likely to be unable to meet essential needs.

Some families with child SSI beneficiaries still cannot afford essentials, while some families with a disabled child with no SSI can afford them. That's not strange. Depending on type and severity of disability extra costs can vary. Cost of living and of uncovered disability related expenses can change from place to place, and in different situations. That does not prove that the program is not necessary. Given the numbers struggling to afford the most basic necessities, it shows that reducing or taking away child SSI would cause serious harm.


To Anon 11:39, there are often substantial extra costs, uncovered by Medicaid and other welfare benefits, for low income kids with disabilities and their families.

There are likely volunteer opportunities in your community to work with and assist low-income families with seriously disabled kids (try your local ARC or any of the many others). You would not have to work with such families for very long before you would understand why cash assistance is often necessary.

Anonymous said...

12:15, I think some of the others may have been referring to the many child SSI awards for cases in which there truly will not be significant additional care costs. This includes a significant portion of child SSI cases, though clearly not all of them. Many of the cases that come through my SSA office are garden variety ADHD cases, sometimes with add-on diagnoses like oppositional defiant disorder or similar things. (As a side note, these cases almost invariably involve parents who do not maintain order or discipline in the home, and the kids almost invariably behave and perform better--maybe not great, but better--at school than at home.) A couple of our judges have a habit of specifically asking the parent(s) how that money would be used to aid the child, and they virtually never have a good answer because counseling is often done through the child's public school, plenty of generic medications are on the market, etc. I can't imagine there are many people who believe ALL recipients of child SSI benefits are not "seriously disabled," but those children are the minority of recipients--the ones for whom SSI actually makes a difference and doesn't become a means of propping up the status quo.

Anonymous said...

No, I read it correctly. It shows families with disabled children who get SSI don't have an advantage when meeting their monetary needs vs those families with disabled children without SSI. Therefore, SSI is essentially throwing money at people without really helping them.

The poster who described it as a "culture" is correct. No matter how much money you give those families, it will never be enough. The program is a failure. SSI is not a social service program nor should it be. These families need better support services, not $710.00 per month.

Anonymous said...

At 7:39, your comment about SSI is the perfect explanation of how to explain SSI to anyone. I see SSI as a way for our "great" country to support the lazy, the unambitious...the vast majority of the poor.

Anonymous said...

Look, I'm not naive enough to say that no or even no significant portion of the poor are lazy and unambitious.

However, have either 7:39 or 9:52 considered the possibility that what you see as/call laziness and inambition are just as often, more even, effects and not causes of poverty? And that maybe what you see as laziness and inambition are really signs of defeat, fatigue, and being broken by a system that pretty much doomed you to poverty at birth because of where and to whom you were born?

Seriously, if you want the left to acknowledge that there are those among the poor who "did it to themselves" or "have it coming," aren't you obliged to admit there are plenty of poor folks whose odds were such that they were very likely to stay poor?

Or is the fact that everyone in this country has at least like 0.1% chance of success that lets you type of thinkers believe America is free and good enough?

Anonymous said...

The same logic used by those who claim SSI benefits for kids are unnecessary (that the benefit is not replacing lost earnings) could be equally applied to the entire SSI program. Presumably the reason anyone is receiving SSI is they do not have a significant work history (else they would be getting SSD).

And, of course, that's the whole point. Those who oppose "welfare" attack it one piece at a time. Pretty soon, like the former AFDC program, it goes away.

Given what a small percentage of our budget goes to prevent people from having to live under bridges, I have never understood why some people think helping the poor is the biggest problem in our country.

Anonymous said...

I doesn't bother me if people want to help the poor. Just don't "force" everyone to do it via taxes. The liberals goal is to tax those with to give to those without. Eventually they will take enough from the taxpayers to give to the "have nots" to equal everything out. No one is guaranteed success in life and no matter how hard the left tries, things will never be equal for all. It just can't happen, it's impossible.

Jessica Bridges said...

I am a beneficiary for my child, I am a divorced mother of two. My daughter has aspergers and it requires many out-patient and in-home therapy sessions a week.
I lose hours of my pay on a weekly basis. Yes I do not have a fear of losing my job because of the FMLA however I am losing my normal amount of earnings. Therefore it simply helps me catch up, it doesn't help me or my daughter anymore.
It just ensures that I am able to get her the medical and prescriptions she needs while her basic human needs are not compromised.

Anonymous said...

Listen all you people who think children shouldn't receive ssi.When your born with no ability to live a full meaningful life you can open your big fucking mouths. some or these children only live for a short while so go step in front of a bus.My child recieved ssi for her short life and we used the money so she could live comfortably and enjoy her short life. Bty she was more deserveing then those of you who play the system so you can sit on your ass.the rest of you go to a childrens hospital and tell those families that they don't deserve help or support.For your sake I hope there an er close.GOD DOESN'T LIKE UGLY BUT YOU PEOPLE CAN GO TO FUCKING HELL!

Anonymous said...

When you're in the hospital, you only get $30.00 per month. How did $710.00 help you "live comfortably"?

Sorry for your loss but you're flat out wrong. The majority of kids on SSI today have no physical problems or life threatening illnesses. Most are that hard to disprove mental variety.