We have mentioned previously that many children who qualify for governmental benefits such as Social Security Disability (SSD) are unlikely to become completely financially self-sufficient adults. This is simply because if children qualify for these kinds of benefits, they are likely facing significant enough mental and/or physical challenges that working a full-time job will either be beyond their capacity or not in their best interests once they reach the age of majority.
However, many children who receive SSD and similar subsidies greatly benefit from access to both educational opportunities and job training. Many go on to work either part time or full time once they reach a certain point in their lives. In an effort to increase the opportunity for children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to pursue education and fulfilling work, Maryland and 10 other states have been awarded federal grants to expand such opportunities for these individuals.
The federal grant initiative is known as PROMISE, which stands for Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income. The PROMISE program in Maryland will provide support to both children and parents so that childhood SSI beneficiaries can ultimately achieve high school graduation, receive job training, pursue postsecondary education and get hired in the competitive marketplace.
Though the ultimate aim of the five-year test program is to reduce the number of childhood SSI beneficiaries who will continue to rely upon this subsidy as adults, the benefits of the program will likely be felt even among the population of children who will continue to require SSI into the future.