Households With Multiple Children Receiving Supplemental Security Income Payments Because of Mental Impairments

Date: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Report Number: 
A-08-14-14098
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

We issued this report to identify and review households with multiple children receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments because of mental impairments.

In the 1990s, SSI program eligibility was expanded to include children who had mental impairments. Therefore, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) SSI program experienced significant growth from children who had mental impairments. Since that time, the number of children receiving SSI payments because of mental impairments has continued to rise. In Calendar Year 2013, SSA paid over 1.3 million children over $10 billion in SSI payments. About 70 percent of these children had mental impairments.

Recent Government Accountability Office (GAO), Social Security Advisory Board, and SSA reviews have identified various issues and concerns pertaining to the childhood disability program.

We reviewed 42 households (193 children) in 4 States that had 4 or more children receiving SSI payments because of a mental impairment.