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Some poor children may not receive SSI for mental illness

Especially in the run-up to an election year, the public in New Jersey and around the country are often treated to discussions about the paying of government benefits to certain people, whether such benefits are sustainable and if too much is being paid out. A recent report indicates that, at least as far as Supplemental Security Income benefits go, the case may be that too few from some groups are getting checks.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which is based out of Washington, D.C., has released a report that explains that a large number of children who suffer from mental illness and also come from socio-economically disadvantaged homes are not receiving benefits to which they may be entitled. A spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, who also co-authored said report, expressed the hope that the report will bring more attention to the availability of benefits for certain children based upon their disabilities.

As our readers may remember, the SSI program provides monetary benefits to individuals who are disabled and exhibit a lack of economic resources. According to the report, the rate at which the number of economically disadvantaged children received benefits for major mental disorders rose proportionately with the population as a whole in the years between 2004 and 2013. Further, poor children are more likely to have mental illnesses, and more likely to have illnesses classified as severe.

Social Security Disability for illness, including mental illness, is available for many people. While children like the ones in this report are often eligible for SSI benefits, adults may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. Those who believe that they, or a loved one, may be eligible for SSI or SSD, may want to get more information about the application process.

Source: medscape.com, "Many Poor Kids With Mental Illness Miss Out on Benefits," Megan Brooks Sept. 21, 2015

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