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Intersectionality and Social Security Age-18 Redetermination: Reducing the Stress and Trauma of Transition for Black Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities

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Abstract

Greater attention is being paid to the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities. We are also at a period of reckoning with the vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow, and a lack of constitutional protections for Black-identifying persons. The contemporary impact of inequitable access to opportunities, services, and supports that would improve the quality of life of racialized Black individuals has added consequences for Black youth with disabilities. A sub-population of youth with disabilities receives monthly support in the form of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), with a disproportionate number of Black-identifying youth qualifying for SSI. Such youth are impacted by the intersectionality of racism, disability, and poverty. The outcome of an SSI age-18 redetermination can be precarious and occurs in the backdrop of these intersectional forces, impacting the life course of racialized Black youth and their families on a scale that is concerning. The authors describe the time frames of pre age-18 redetermination, age-18 redetermination and post age-18 redetermination in the contexts of intersectionality and transition, and articulate what type of services and supports can reduce the experience of chronic stress in the lives of racialized Black youth facing an SSI age-18 redetermination, and thereby improve the outcomes of these youth as they transition to adulthood.

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Acknowledgements

The research reported herein was performed pursuant to a grant from Policy Research, Inc., as part of the U.S. Social Security Administration's (SSA's) Improving Disability Determination Process Small Grant Program. The opinions and conclusions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent the opinions or policy of Policy Research, Inc., SSA, or any other agency of the Federal Government.The preparation of this manuscript was partially funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development Interdisciplinary Training in Trauma and Violence (T32 HD094687). The first author would like to acknowledge the rich contribution of the second author, Dr. Ruby Gourdine, who passed away a few days prior to the initial submission of the manuscript.

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Davis, A., Gourdine, R. Intersectionality and Social Security Age-18 Redetermination: Reducing the Stress and Trauma of Transition for Black Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities. Child Adolesc Soc Work J 40, 513–523 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-022-00892-y

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