Graduate project

Supplemental security income and the deaf

This paper discusses the plight of the hearing-impaired/deaf person who applies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is indicated that there is a communications problem between those who apply for SSI and the Social Security Administration (SSA) which administers the program. This new form of public aid, enacted under Public Law on January 1, 1974, provides security to low income persons and replaces previously existing programs for the aged, blind and disabled. Each state supplements the federal payment so that no person receives less that he would have received under programs prior to January 1, 1974. The SSA offices throughout the states distribute information and determine eligibility. A questionnaire was disseminated to determine if hearing-impaired students are able to make satisfactory use of the SSA offices when applying for SSI. The final section deals with conclusions and discussions for possible further research and development. It is established that there is a communications problem and that hearing-impaired respondents prefer to have assistance when they apply for SSI.