Your Guide to Social Security Disability When Your New Baby Was Born Very Early

If you hear about supplemental social security income, or SSI, and you think of your parents or grandparents getting a monthly payment after retiring, you may be surprised to learn that those benefits are often available to other persons as well.

For instance, if your son or daughter was born much too early and is currently in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which may be known as the NICU, he or she might be eligible for similar payments for a brief period of time. As you might guess, those payments aren't available to every premature child and the payments are temporary.

Therefore, if you're concerned about the financial challenges associated with having a child in the hospital for a prolonged period of time, it is a good idea to be aware of the information shared below.

Determining if Your Tiny Baby Might Be Eligible for Social Security Payments

It is important to note that when the government is assessing the health of extremely premature infants when an application for social security disability payments has been submitted on their behalf, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to doing so.

For instance, you find that the diagnosis of lung, brain, and organ difficulties of your child is important, while their gestation and weight also play a crucial role. Specifically, being born early does not automatically mean that a baby will be able to get benefits, but benefits are more likely for premature babies with low birth weights. 

Instead, it is the disability and health challenges associated with their prematurity that permit him or her to get payments. Premature babies under a certain weight and gestational age are often eligible for benefits due to the increased likelihood of a disability or the existing diagnosis of such. A baby who is born prematurely at any gestation and weighs no more than two pounds, ten ounces is typically eligible. Your child could also weigh up to four pounds, six ounces and be born as late as 37 weeks of gestation and be eligible for payments.

Between those extremes, there are specific weights and gestational ages that allow for rapid determination of social security disability payments for premature babies when cognitive, physical, or emotional disabilities have been diagnosed.          

Payments Are Often Available Quickly, But the Payments Aren't Very Big at First

The benefits you might get for your baby when he or she is growing and becoming healthy in the NICU are often available faster than an older person's benefits, often in as little as three months. However, those payments typically don't exceed 30 dollars a month when your baby is in the hospital and receiving 24 hour care, but will usually increase when it is safe to come home. In order to be eligible for those benefits, your family must make under a certain amount of money each year, which varies by family size and can change from one year to the next.

In addition, your baby will be reevaluated by the Social Security Administration prior to their first birthday to see if he or she is still eligible for benefits. Many children are at good weights and reasonably healthy at that time and will then lose benefits. If your son or daughter has an on-going disability at that time, he or she might continue to get benefits and would be re-certified periodically until adulthood. Regardless, as long as the information submitted to the government was factual and accurate, you will not be asked to pay back any of the benefits.        

In conclusion, premature babies are at risk for a variety of health challenges, some of which may linger long after being released from an extended and expensive stay in the hospital. As a result, if you're the parent of a premature baby who will need to spend a long time in the hospital before it's safe to go home, you're likely to find the above facts to be quite useful.

To learn more about your options, contact services like Duncan Disability Law SC.