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Federal PROMISE initiative to offer kids on SSI more opportunity

All families want to set their children up for success, but providing for a child with a disability can be a financial strain for many families in New Jersey. Accordingly, the financial assistance provided by Supplemental Security Income is crucial to many low-income families across New Jersey that have a child with a disability.

Across the country, it is estimated that more than a million children receive SSI benefits. While this financial assistance is crucial for low-income families of these children, young SSI recipients often continue to face many challenges in life.

SSI recipients that are children often continue to receive such assistance through adulthood. Over half of all child-aged SSI recipients that transition into young-adult-aged SSI recipients have low levels of education, lack vocational training services and are unemployed. These factors make it incredibly difficult for the individual to pursue a higher quality of life.

Accordingly, the federal government recently announced a program that will give funding to selected states to help open the door for SSI recipients between the ages of 14-16 to educational and employment opportunities. The program is called PROMISE, Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income.

Children with disabilities that come from a low-income family should not be denied education and employment opportunities. PROMISE is aimed at providing more of these opportunities so that these children can grow into adults with a better quality of life.

A worker for the special education and rehabilitative services at the U.S. Department of Education says, “With PROMISE, we hope to provide strong and effective partnerships with agencies to build capacity to achieve better results and outcomes for child SSI recipients and their families.”

Source: Disability Scoop, “Feds Eye Better Outcomes For Kids On SSI,” Shaun Heasley, May 22, 2013

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