Policy Research Institute

Comments Urgently Needed on Proposed Changes for Evaluating SSI/SSDI Eligibility for People Living with Mental Illness

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has proposed revisions to the criteria used for evaluating eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits on the basis of mental impairments.  Many of the changes proposed are positive and represent improvements over the current system. 

However, one change in particular proposed by the SSA is potentially problematic.  Specifically, NAMI is concerned about the proposed use of tests for evaluating functional capacity to determine eligibility of children and adults with mental illnesses for SSI or SSDI benefits.  There is no objective way to measure functioning of people with mental illnesses through standardized tests.

The SSA is soliciting comments from the field about these proposed changes.  We have drafted detailed comments that we intend to submit to the SSA. Feel free to incorporate our comments into a letter you send to the SSA. If you are writing on behalf of a NAMI affiliate, simply insert the name of your affiliate in the areas that are left blank in the letter.

Please note that the deadline for submitting comments is Wednesday, November 17th, 2010.

Comments should be sent to the following address.

Office of Regulations
Social Security Administration
137 Altmeyer Building
6401 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21235-6401

Please make sure to indicate that your comments concern Docket No. SSA-2007-0101

If you prefer to submit your comments electronically, you can do so by going to http://www.regulation.gov and search for Docket # SSA-2007-0101.

To view the proposed rule on revised medical criteria for evaluating mental disorders, go to http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-20247.pdf

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