SSI For Children a Mainstay of Our Safety Net

Supplemental Security Income is a central pillar of our current system of family-centered care for children with severe disabilities. Other core pillars include Medicaid and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In this system, the primary responsibility for the well-being of a disabled child rests with the child’s parents and family. Together, these supports play a fundamental role in making it possible for children with disabilities to live at home with their families and in their communities.

As detailed in this brief, Supplemental Security is an effective support for children with severe disabilities and their families. Research shows that Supplemental Security:

  • Reduces costly and harmful institutionalization of children with severe disabilities by supporting family-centered care
  • Reduces poverty and increases economic security by offsetting some of the extra costs and lost parental income associated with raising a child with a severe disability
  • Supports work and education for parents and youth
  • Reduces financial and other stressors that can adversely affect parental well-being and can lead to separation or divorce
  • Serves as a critically important complement to other services provided to children with disabilities
  • Provides initial disability determinations that are extensive and highly accurate
  • See full discussion here: