Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the primary program of federal benefits for children with disabilities and their families. In 1998, 885,250 blind and disabled children under 18 years old were receiving SSI nationwide. Of these, the large majority (63.5%) were boys; just over one-third (36.5%) were girls (Pickett, 1998, December).
Over the decade from 1988 to 1998, fewer girls than boys received SSI, as shown in the chart below. Although surveys such as the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate higher rates of disability for boys than girls, this alone does not account for the gap in SSI benefits between boys and girls that generally increased over the past decade. This is another area that bears further research.
Data Table for Figure 10
Sources: Social Security Administration (1989-1998); Pickett (1998).
Surveys: Social Security Administration Program Data, 1988-1998