Congressman Calls For Hearing Amid Questions About Children’s SSI Program
A Massachusetts representative is calling for a congressional hearing to examine if children are being overprescribed medication specifically to qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.
In response to a newspaper investigation published this week which found that low-income families sometimes choose to medicate their children in hopes of securing hundreds of dollars in monthly federal disability assistance, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., wants Congress to look into the issue.
Neal, who sits on the committee which oversees the agency administering SSI benefits, said he believes it’s important to consider the impact public benefits could be having on the use of psychiatric medication in kids.
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SSI benefits for children were originally designed to help poor families with children experiencing severe physical or intellectual impairments. But in recent times the assistance has increasingly gone toward kids with mental, learning and behavioral disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and speech delay.
Meanwhile, federal oversight of the program to ensure that children continue to need assistance after they initially qualify is limited, reports The Boston Globe. To read more click here.