Social Security Administration

Stop Monetary SSI Benefits to Children

The Social Security Handbook says, “The basic purpose of SSI is to assure a limited level of income to people who are aged, blind, or disabled, and have limited income and resources.” Although many children suffer from significant childhood illnesses or impairments, administering monetary benefits to a child who has not reached the legal working age in an effort to “supplement” his/her household income seems illogical. While Medicaid coverage is imperative to ensure children with disabilities and/or special needs receive appropriate medical attention, (including necessary prescription medications), such coverage should not be attached to a monetary supplement. Social Security’s continued evaluation of children with disabilities to determine Medicaid eligibility is understandable, but payments made to the household of a minor who is not legally able to supplement his/her household income without special permission otherwise, seems to defeat the purpose of the program in general. Recent data suggests ending monetary SSI benefits to those under 18 would save the government millions of dollars per month. Although this is not a cure for Social Security, as SSI is funded from general revenue, it would SAVE in a significant way.

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Idea No. 28