Rise in SSI Support for Speech-Language Disorders in Children Reflects U.S. Trend Why has there been an increase in the number of children from low-income families who receive federal disability benefits for speech and language disorders? The trends are similar to those found in the general population, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine prepared ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   March 01, 2016
Rise in SSI Support for Speech-Language Disorders in Children Reflects U.S. Trend
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Language Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   March 01, 2016
Rise in SSI Support for Speech-Language Disorders in Children Reflects U.S. Trend
The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, 8. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.21032016.8
The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, 8. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.21032016.8
The trends are similar to those found in the general population, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine prepared for the Social Security Administration.
To qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, a child’s speech or language disorder must be severe enough to meet SSI medical eligibility criteria and the family must demonstrate financial need. According to the report, the evidence required to document the severity of disability is extensive and relies on multiple sources, including educational and clinical evaluations—an approach consistent with those used in professional practice.
Of the more than 1.3 million children who received SSI disability benefits in 2014, 16 percent received benefits because of primary speech and language disorders. About 40 percent of children with these disorders have additional mental and physical health conditions, such as intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and other neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders.
Severe speech and language disorders are likely to persist throughout childhood and adolescence, the report says, so few children receiving SSI benefits for the disorders are likely to leave the program. Also, a new impairment code for speech and language disorders introduced in 1994 helps explain the increase of children receiving SSI benefits, the report says.
The National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice to help shape policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering and medicine.
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March 2016
Volume 21, Issue 3