The Arc’s Statement in Response to Congressional Hearing on Supplemental Security Income for Low Income Children

Washington DC – Peter V. Berns, the CEO of The Arc of the United States, released the following statement about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) following today’s Ways and Means Committee hearing.

“The Arc hopes that Congress will continue to support and sustain SSI for children with significant disabilities. The children who depend on SSI have significant disabilities, live in low-income households, and rely on SSI for access to medications and to meet other essential needs – it is their lifeline. SSI enables families to access services that allow them to care for their child with a disability at home, as opposed to being placed in institutions.

We are so pleased to have a family from The Arc of Kentucky at the hearing today. Katie Bentley and her son Will are wonderful examples of what SSI does for families. Forced to quit her job to care for her son, Katie and her family are reliant on SSI benefits and the related medical supports available to him. As Katie said at today’s hearing, SSI allows Will to lead an active life in the community, while living at home. SSI means opportunities to families like the Bentleys, and we cannot afford to take these opportunities away from children with severe disabilities.

Any attempts to cut SSI for low-income children are unacceptable. We cannot allow children who are clearly in need to suffer.”

SSI is essential for low-income children with severe disabilities. This program was established to support and preserve the capacity of families to care for their children with disabilities in their own homes by easing the financial burden families of children with disabilities face.  Last year alone, SSI provided benefits for more than 1 million children with severe disabilities. All children who receive SSI benefits live in low-income households. SSI benefits help struggling families afford medications and other essential services, and meet basic needs.

The Arc of the United States has joined with more than 80 national organizations to support the preservation of SSI for low-income children with disabilities.

3 thoughts on “The Arc’s Statement in Response to Congressional Hearing on Supplemental Security Income for Low Income Children

  1. The way for congress to have plenty of money to support true disability claims is too stop supporting those that are killing themselves! Tobacco, Drugs and alcohol cause addiction/iillness/disease. They can also kill and destroy families. Anyone that uses products that cause illness and death should not be allowed to apply for disability. Insurance companies will not pay if a person commits suicide in the first 2 years of the policy while our government pays out to those who are deliberately killing themselves daily with tobacco, drugs and alcohol. Give a means to stop the suicide and driving up of medical costs instead of money to support habit and poor lifestyle choices.

  2. Hello, I wish to thank the Arc Very Very Much for releasing this statement to the Ways and Means Committee Hearing! I only learned about the Arc a couple months ago and I am so happy to know there are a team of people fighting for our Intellectually disabled children/adults.

    I am 60 yrs old, divorced in 2006 and unable to work so I can take care of my son also. He has a life-long disorder named Angelman Syndrome. He will always require 100% care, 24/7. He receives no other benefits except Medicaid, of which they are constantly cutting back or stopping various benefits consistently. I also have another son living with me, who cannot find work.

    I’d like to let you know and add: Most of my son’s SSI helps me to “keep” his home for him, so he can continue living among the community. We parents who are struggling are saving the Federal/State and taxpayers thousands if not billions of dollars.

    Thank you again, sincerely,
    Linda K. Hammill
    Stratford, CT

  3. I am glad to be aware that ARC makes sure that voices of our community are heard in Congress. Listening to testimony’s of those affected by decisions being pondered by Congress hopefully will touch those who we vote for. Keep up the good work ARC.

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