A federal children’s disability benefits program that’s already under a microscope for alleged lenient admission practices is continuing to grow, with one in two beneficiaries now citing behavioral, mental or learning disorders.

The Supplemental Security Income program for children increased 3 percent last year. Diagnoses of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and speech delay represented the largest increases.

The new enrollment data comes after a newspaper investigation last fall found that some poor families go to great lengths — including putting their children on psychiatric medications — in an effort to secure up to $700 monthly in federal benefits.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The articles highlighted a stark increase in SSI claims for children with behavioral, mental or learning disorders, which rose from 8.3 percent of children’s SSI cases in 1990 to 55 percent today.

Members of Congress have since called for an investigation into the $10.3 billion program, reports The Boston Globe. To read more click here.