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President Bush has signed into law a bill that provides benefits for severely disabled children being cared for by their families.

The law extends Supplemental Security Income benefits to families in states that waive Medicaid income ceilings, if the families show that home care for children costs less than institutional care. Forty-seven states now have such waivers.

The law, signed last month, was inspired by the plight of a Massachusetts couple, Kenneth and Kathleen Mulligan, who cared for their handicapped infant daughter at home. Because Mr. Mulligan's salary was $3,200 over the state's Medicaid limit, the family was deemed ineligible for the program. The Medicaid ineligibility precluded them from receiving supplemental benefits from the Social Security Administration.

At the time, the Mulligans' child would only have been able to receive full benefits if she had been placed in a hospital or institution.

The National Urban League proposed last week that the Congress allocate $50 billion of the expected "peace dividend" savings in the budget for an "Urban Marshall Plan" targeted at improvements in education, health, child care, and housing for those most in need.

The recommendation was included in The State of Black America 1990, copies of which are available for $19, plus $2.40 for postage and handling, from the National Urban League, Communications Department, 500 East 62nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10021; (212) 310-9000.

Vol. 09, Issue 17

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