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Supplemental Security Income Celebrates 40 Years
Posted in: Supplemental Security Income on October 3rd, 2012

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Supplemental Security Income providing support to those with severe disabilities and to the elderly. Signed into law by President Nixon in 1972, the program focuses on strengthening economic security and the opportunity for recipients to be active participants in society. The program does even more important work, however: it’s a crucial safety net to help children with severe disabilities receive care at home from their parents rather than in costly institutions.

A Record Of Success

Many parents of severely disabled children need to limit employment so they can focus on their child’s daily needs. The intensive care required puts not only a financial strain on parents but it can also lead to emotional strains as well. The SSI program helps reduce the financial strain from loss of income and helps reduce emotional stress, thereby helping parents keep their families intact.

SSI also helps give parents and youth access to education that can better their lives, and it helps provide accurate, extensive initial disability benefit determinations.

In today’s political climate, some are proposing sweeping changes to SSI disability benefits, but many consider the proposals a threat to the program’s traditional pro-family approach to solving problems and supporting those with severe disabilities. The income support provided by Supplemental Security is a critical complement to other programs that provide Medicaid health insurance, work and education services, and special health care needs.

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