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Posts Tagged ‘disabled children’

SSI Benefits for Children Questioned by Congress Members

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

According to the Boston Globe, key members of Congress are asking for an investigation into disabled children’s ability to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits or SSI. Congress members such as Representative Richard Neal and Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts claim the benefit receipt is n the rise in the number of children receiving SSI for behavioral and mental issues. Congress members claim low-income families may be tempted to put their children with attention deficit disorders and depression on psychiatric drugs to improve their chances of qualifying.

The SSI benefit system may be flawed and may be creating incentives for families to put their children on psychiatric drugs in order to improve chances for disability payments.

The program started in 1972 for children with severe physical disabilities, but now serves largely for youngsters diagnosed with behavioral, learning and mental disorders. 640,000 children who receive SSI benefits qualify because of mental disabilities, which is 53% of children enrolled in the program. Children who receive SSI also may qualify for Medicaid coverage and $700 a month in cash. Delayed speech and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are the top reasons of why claimants received benefits.

The Boston Globe raises allegations that the program may discourage teenagers from taking up part-time jobs as income earnings jeopardize SSI benefit payments. The Congress is looking to investigate the Social Security program and SSI qualifications for disabled children, as well as to see if the SSA has an effective ability to screen and adequately determine when children’s conditions improve to the point of no longer requiring SSI benefits.

Amarillo Woman Guilty of Social Security Benefits Fraud

Friday, January 21st, 2011

An Amarillo woman has pleaded guilty to social security fraud. Blanca Alvarez, age unknown, faced charges of stealing Social Security benefits.

Alvarez pleaded guilty in Amarillo’s U.S. District Court to one charge of Social Security fraud. According to federal court documents, Alvarez filed for Social Security benefits on behalf of a child. The child was in a state foster care program.

Alvarez knowingly lied to receive disability payments for the child, according to the complaint. Alvarez received about $26,000 in Social Security payments for the child who was under the care of the state of Texas. The defendant waits to hear a judge’s decision; she is facing up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Helping Your Child Apply for SSDI Benefits

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Children are eligible for SSDI benefits, including children with disabilities, but it would be a parent’s responsibility to apply for such benefits on behalf of their child. It makes it easier to process a claim if correct and detailed information is provided to support the claim.

A parent applying for a child’s SSSDI benefits should have the following information available:

The child’s Social Security number and birth certificate.
The parent’s Social Security number.

In addition, the Social Security Administration needs detailed information in order to make a decision on your child’s disability benefits. You can help by providing the following:

Your child’s medical condition and as much information possible to describe the condition(s).

Dates of visits to doctors or hospitals, patient account numbers for any doctors and hospitals, and any other information valuable in obtaining medical records. You do not need to provide copies of the actual medical records as SSA requests them from the doctor. You can provide copies of any letters or reports in your current possession.

If you are applying for SSI and SSDI at the same time, provide records that show your income and resources, as well as those of your child, if any.

The Social Security Administration asks for your to describe your child’s disability and how it affects his or her ability to function. Additional helpful information to determine disability benefits includes names of teachers and day care providers who assist in day-to-day support. You can provide the child’s school records to support your child’s claim.