Having a baby is one of the most wonderful events a family can experience. Occasionally, that joy can get sidelined when the baby comes sooner than expected. Premature babies can be born with many problems that can be expensive to manage. Thankfully, if you find yourself in this position, you can get financial help through disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Keep reading for valuable information on benefits for premature babies.
When is a baby considered premature?
A premature baby is any baby born before 37 weeks of gestation. Preemies can be afflicted with such maladies as low birth weight and underdeveloped organs. Premature babies also are at a greater risk for infections and respiratory distress syndrome, which can lead to developmental delays such as cerebral palsy, deafness, poor vision and cognitive disorders.
When is a premature baby eligible for benefits?
Premature babies who have serious impairments or severe functional limitations due to their early birth are eligible for benefits if the condition is expected to last for at least one year.
How long does it take to get SSI benefits for a preemie?
It can take between three and five months for the SSA to determine if a premature baby can receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, the SSA will grant immediate benefits, known as “presumptive benefits”, for babies with serious illnesses whom the SSA deems as likely to warrant benefit, and need financial help as soon as possible. Often babies who qualify for presumptive benefits have an extremely low birth weight or have a condition such as cerebral palsy.
Babies who do not qualify for presumptive benefits may still qualify for SSI benefits. Listing 112.12 in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments outlines the qualifications for premature babies with cognitive or motor developmental delays to be eligible for benefits. Under this listing the following conditions will automatically qualify a baby from birth to one year old for benefits:
– Cognitive or Communicative functioning that is typical of half the child’s chronological age
– Motor development that is typical of half the child’s chronological age
– Development or functionality that is typical of ⅔ the child’s chronological age in at least two areas
– Lack of response to stimulation of the senses
– Overexcitability or fearfulness in response to stimulation of the senses.
Qualifying with Another Condition
Babies who do not qualify under listing 112.12 may still qualify for benefits if they have another condition that has a listing in the Listing of Impairments.
If you have questions about applying for disability benefits for your premature baby, contact Clauson Law today.