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Can Newborns Qualify For SSD Benefits?

Cutter Hall Karlock, LLC Feb. 2, 2021

Social Security disability assistance helps to relieve the financial burden that falls upon those whose conditions limit the extent to which they are able to support themselves. Yet such struggles are not limited to adults; a child’s disability can also present a number of financial challenges for their families.

The care required to treat a child’s disabling condition can be costly. SSA officials make assistance available to children, yet most might assume that a disability in a child takes time to recognize and diagnose. What if, however, your child’s condition begins at birth?

SSD benefits for low birth weight

Certain birth defects might require extensive care (which SSD benefits might certainly help you in affording), yet even those conditions may take time for clinicians to determine how they may affect your child’s development. An extremely low birth weight, however, requires immediate (often prolonged) attention. Your child may need care in a neonatal intensive care unit until they begin to show improved signs of development. During that time, they may be subject to heart problems and respiratory issues. This all can add up to inordinate expenses (which may be difficult for you and your family to shoulder).

Per the SSA’s List of Impairments, you can receive disability benefits due to your child’s low birth weight. If they weigh less than 1200 grams at birth, they automatically qualify. If they weigh slightly more than that, then the qualifying weights (broken down by gestational age) are as follows:

  • 37-40 weeks: 2000 grams

  • 36 weeks: 1875 grams

  • 35 weeks: 1700 grams

  • 34 weeks: 1500 grams

  • 33 weeks: 1325 grams

  • 32 weeks: 1250 grams

Continued assistance due to failure to thrive

The hope is that intervention will help spur your child towards normal development. However, may continue to qualify for benefits if your child fails to thrive during their first few years of life.