Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 25, 2013 – A new federal grant program is aimed to improve the long-term prospects of disabled children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) initiative will provide assistance to SSI recipients and their families in order to help the kids complete high school, postsecondary education, and job training, as well as find good jobs.
“Despite the support that Supplemental Security Income provides, children who receive the benefits nevertheless tend to lag behind in higher education and employment when compared with their peers,” said Virginia special needs attorney Andrew Hook. “This program may help close that gap. I hope it is a success and is expanded in the future.”
PROMISE is a competitive grant program in which state governments develop and implement demonstration projects coordinating the services of multiple state and federal agencies in order to improve the educational and professional outcomes of disabled children receiving SSI. The initiative is focused on children aged 14 to 16 and their families.
“A number of programs to help children with special needs are available at all levels of government,” added Hook, “but it can be very difficult for busy families to figure out which ones they are eligible for and apply for them all. That is why I think the inter-agency coordination of the PROMISE program is key.”
The PROMISE program was announced in May, 2013, and the Department of Education in October, 2013, announced the states that had been selected to receive a cut of the $211 million in total funding. They are Arkansas, California, Maryland, New York, Wisconsin, and a consortium of states that includes Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. The five-year program is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services.
“I recommend anyone who needs help securing government benefits for disabled children contact an experienced special needs attorney, in the PROMISE states or elsewhere,” Hook said.
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