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Seeking better outcomes for kids who receive SSI benefits

Children with disabilities face a hard road ahead. To be sure, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) helps many of these children and their families make ends meet. Life would be much more difficult for them without SSI.

By any measure, however, the life prospects for disabled kids are quite daunting. In Southeast Michigan and across the nation, they face many challenges in completing an education and getting jobs.

That is why several federal agencies are teaming up on an initiative aimed at helping children who are recipients of SSI benefits move forward with their lives.

The initiative is aimed at children who are ages 14 to 16 and receive SSI. It is called PROMISE, which stands for Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income.

The Social Security Administration is of course involved in the initiative. But so are the Department of Education and the Department of Labor. The Department of Health and Human Services is also involved.

The premise of the PROMISE program is improved inter-agency collaboration to improve the long-term prospects for kids who receive SSI. For the next five years, there will be as much as $10 million a year available in grant money to states that come up with innovative ways to improve services to these kids.

Overall, kids who receive SSI often struggle at school and in the workplace. The new federal initiative aims to build partnerships between social service agencies in order to promote better outcomes.

There are more than a million kids who receive SSI benefits, so a lot is at stake in the new initiative.

Source: "Feds Eye Better Outcomes For Kids On SSI," Disabilty Scoop, Shaun Heasley, May 22, 2013

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