Print this Page Hearing Advisory
Chairman Davis Announces Hearing on Supplemental Security Income Benefits for Children
Thursday, October 27, 2011
In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. Witnesses will include the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other experts on SSI benefits for children. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.
The Supplemental Security Income program supports adults who are aged or unable to work due to disability with monthly cash benefits of up to $674 per person in 2011. The program also provides monthly payments to disabled children. Currently, there are 1.2 million children receiving SSI benefits at an annual cost of about $10 billion, not including Medicaid expenses.
In November 2010, The Boston Globe ran a three-part series on increases in children’s payments under the Supplemental Security Income program, identifying two areas of concern: a lack of program integrity efforts by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and allegations that psychotropic drugs may be improperly prescribed to children with certain mental and behavioral impairments (especially Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD) in order to improve their chances of collecting SSI disability payments.
The series prompted Chairman Davis and a bipartisan, bicameral group of Members of Congress to request that GAO review: trends in the rate of children receiving SSI benefits due to ADHD, depression, and other mental impairments; the role of medical evidence, such as the presence of medication, in SSA disability determinations; and the impact of SSA’s not completing continuing disability reviews on current recipients of SSI benefits. While final results and recommendations from GAO are not expected until 2012, the hearing will include testimony from GAO on their preliminary findings as well as from other experts on SSI benefits for children, among related issues.
In announcing the hearing, Chairman Geoff Davis (R-KY) stated, “The SSI program provides financial support for families with a disabled child. But as currently constructed, the program makes no effort to ensure that benefits are used to help children overcome their disabilities and lead productive lives. As a result, too many children on SSI drop out of school, experience poor employment outcomes, and continue receiving year after year of disability payments as adults. This hearing will review how the SSI program is currently coming up short and possible remedies.”
The hearing will focus on oversight of SSI benefits for children, including trends, program growth, and recipient outcomes.
Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage, http://waysandmeans.house.gov, select “Hearings.” Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.” Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information. Attach your submission as a Word document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on Thursday, November 10, 2011. Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721 or (202) 225-3625.
The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
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