There are options for Americans who are disabled and have limited resources. Children who medically qualify as disabled through the Social Security Administration can receive a monthly Supplemental Security Income. Although Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an important source of income for millions of Americans, including those in Wisconsin, many others who apply for SSI on their own are initially denied or receive the bare minimum in benefits due to the confusing application process. Recently, a federal grant of nearly $33 million has been awarded from New York State to initiate an effort to improve services for children receiving Supplemental Security Income.
The program, named PROMISE, is designed to research and improve career and education outcomes for disabled children in need of financial support. The state will apply the grant over the course of five years for study at Cornell University. According to the program director, the study will focus on low-income, disabled youth with particular emphasis on their transition from academics to adulthood.
PROMISE aims to test current services for improvement and new direction. Participants in the project include student recipients of SSI and their families; half were selected at random to receive services provided by PROMISE, and the other half will receive the current standard services. Wisconsin is included among a handful of states to receive federal grant funding to be a part of the initiative for the next five years.
It is too soon to tell if the study will aid the current SSI operations and distribution methodology. What is known is that Social Security Disability benefits can often be difficult to secure regardless of the eligibility status. Wisconsin residents pursuing Supplemental Security Income can seek assistance in order to help acquire this aid.
Source: news.cornell.edu, ILR to study disabled low-income kids in $32.5M effort, Mary Catt, Nov. 11, 2013