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New program hopes to improve outcomes for disabled children

Last month on our Social Security disability law blog, we had mentioned that children in Minnesota who have severe impairments that will affect them for at least one year may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits. These benefits are offered based on need, and SSI benefits for children help families to pay for their disabled children's living expenses and medical needs.

Disability Scoop reported that during 2011, at least 1 million children throughout the country received SSI benefits. SSI benefits are not benefits that are awarded permanently since families' incomes may change and since recipients who are children may be able to find employment when they get older. However, more often than not, children who receive SSI benefits will continue to be eligible for these benefits when they are adults. This is because disabilities and impairments may prevent SSI recipients from being able to find decent jobs when they are older.

In an effort to create better educational and career opportunities for disabled children when they get older, the government announced this week that it will be selecting some states to participate in a new program that will provide resources for disabled kids so that they can succeed in school and find employment when they are adults.

The program is called Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE). Together the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor and Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration hope that the program will help to provide disabled children with better resources and support to improve their skills and to do well in school so they can take advantage of better career opportunities when they are older.

The government announced that it plans to offer selected states up to $10 million for participating in PROMISE. States would be able to receive up to $10 million every year for up to five years to start and promote the program. PROMISE is focused on providing SSI recipients who are between the ages of 14 and 16 with better resources and support to improve their educational and career outcomes.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Feds eye better outcomes for kids on SSI," Shaun Heasley, May 22, 2013

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