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Family of little girl with Klumpke's palsy still seeking SSI

Many children with conditions such as cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy will require therapy, medical treatment and in-home assistance for the rest of their lives, and parents whose children have these conditions sometimes have to apply for Supplemental Security Income to make ends meet.

The maximum monthly payment for SSI is $710, and according to federal data, about 60 percent of children who apply are denied those benefits. In fact, the criteria for receiving SSI payments, which are available to people who have little or no work history, are very strict, though many mainstream media sources would lead you to believe otherwise.

Atlanta residents with disability concerns will be moved by the story of one little girl whose parents have been denied SSI benefits three times, despite the little girl's being diagnosed with a rare condition called Klumpke's palsy.

When the 2-year-old was born, she was forcibly pulled from her mother's birth canal. The birth injured the little girl, and now her left arm is limp and non-functional. Her mother, who works two jobs at 50 hours a week, says the little girl's injury makes her unable to put on her shoes, change clothes or climb stairs by herself, and even potty-training is difficult.

On top of all that, the little girl's father was recently laid off from his job.

The family now has a total income of $17,000, but they were still denied SSI benefits. One requirement for SSI is that a two-parent family can't have an income two times higher than the established poverty level, which is $19,530 for a three-member family.

In other words, it is unclear why the Social Security Administration has denied this particular family SSI benefits.

Georgia families facing a similar situation may need to seek legal support to get the benefits they need. With so much misleading information going around about disability benefits, it is important for people who need the payments to hear what their options are.

Source: philly.com, "Disability of 2-year-old raises questions on federal aid programs," Alfred Lubrano, Nov. 5, 2013

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