Premature Births and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Any child born before 37 weeks is premature.     A premature child can suffer from multiple complications including low birth weight, undeveloped lungs, as well as other issues.  These complications vary from child to child.  However, the earlier your child was born, the higher the risk of problems. 

If your child is premature, he/she will likely require a longer hospital stay and may include the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).  Premature children often need extra help with feeding and other activities.  Problems can range, relating to their breathing, their brain, their heart, and even their immune system.  Premature births have even been linked to diagnosis of chronic physical and psychological health impairments.  The impairments can develop into severely disabling conditions over time. 

Depending on the level of complications related to your child’s premature birth, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can find that your child is disabled.  There are a certain number of listings that could apply to your child’s case.  Some of these revolve around specific impairments such as heart disease, cerebral palsy, or other mental impairments that can be caused by premature birth. 

The SSA may also look at whether your child functionally equals one of these listings by being found to have marked limitations in two domains, or an extreme limitation in just one domain.  Domain number six is most likely to be addressed in a premature birth case.  The SSA will look at the overall health and well-being of your child to determine if he/she functionally equals a listing and therefore should be entitled to SSI. 

For more information, please contact one of the attorneys at Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik. 

by Beau W. Chinn

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