08/21/2011 12:04 pm ET | Updated Oct 21, 2011

ADHD, Bipolar Children At Risk For Losing Benefits (LISTEN)

After Hulston Poe started taking the appropriate ADHD medication, his mother said she was able to "see a light" in her son's eyes again. But, now that she's at risk for losing the funding that pays for the 4-year-old's pills, that light may get dimmed again, NPR reports.

The Supplemental Security Income program--which helps low-income families pay for medical care for children with severe disabilities--has grown 40 percent in the last decade. It serves more than 1 million kids, like Hulston, who suffer from conditions ranging from autism to Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

Despite the growing need, the government has already taken steps to limit the program. The House budget resolution, for example, proposed reducing SSI program incentives to potentially save $1.4 billion, in the next 10 years, according to NPR.

Supporters of the SSI program--which includes 16 major advocacy groups nationwide--have already set up a coalition to preserve the program and lobby Congress.

"I think a lot of the skepticism about the children's SSI program really is just thinly veiled skepticism about the legitimacy of mental health disorders," Rebecca Vallas, a lawyer at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, told the news outlet.


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