SSI Update from Bazelon

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What: House Ways and Means, Human Resources Subcommittee Hearing on Supplemental Security Income Benefits for Children
When: Thursday, October 27, 9:00am (Eastern Time)
Where: B-318 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. -- October 25, 2011 -- The Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Full Committee has scheduled an October 27 hearing to examine Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for low-income children with severe mental and/or physical disabilities. In response to misleading media accounts and harmful legislative proposals, 80 national organizations (listed below) have joined the growing roster of groups that support preserving SSI for low-income children with disabilities.

Low-income families with a child receiving SSI are also speaking out to tell the real story: balancing the budget on the backs of low-income children with serious disabilities is the wrong prescription.

Studies have consistently shown that families raising children with disabilities face economic and material hardship at significantly greater rates than families without a child with disabilities. Though low (on average only about $593 a month), SSI payments enable families to access the services necessary for children with severe impairments to remain with their families in their community, instead of being sent to state facilities for often more expensive institution-based care. These benefits are also essential to preventing already hard-hit families from falling deeper into poverty.

"Supplemental Security Income is a critical resource for low-income children with severe disabilities and their families," stated Robert Bernstein, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. "Besides being a lifeline for some families, investing in children's SSI is smart policy. SSI minimizes the risk of greater government costs," stated Dr. Bernstein. "Without SSI, many children with severe disabilities would be at high risk of institutionalization in a state facility, because many families lack the financial resources to care for a child with intensive needs," explained Dr. Bernstein.

To speak to a family with a child on SSI or to an expert at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, please contact Dominic Holt at or 202.467.5730, ext. 311.

To read more about this issue click here.


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