Disability rarely affects only those who are suffering from it; their family and friends are also often equally impacted. This is especially true for the parents of disabled children. 

Some people might think that a disabled child supported by able-bodied parents may not need to receive any sort of financial assistance. Yet the expenses associated with a child’s disability can often be crippling. Thus, Social Security Disability benefits in such a situation might offer welcome relief. 

Qualifying for disability from birth 

Fortunately, the Social Security Administration recognizes that children may indeed be born disabled. Thus, it has no minimum age requirement to qualify for benefits. A child receiving disability benefits may remain qualified to do so until the age of 18. At that time (if benefits are still needed), their case is re-evaluated to see if they meet the qualifications required to receive assistance as an adult. 

Disability benefits for failure to thrive 

The need for a newborn (or more specifically, their parents) to receive SSD benefits may not be readily apparent at birth, but may instead manifest itself later by the baby failing to thrive. As is the case with all qualifying medical conditions, the SSA has set forth the standard for qualifying for benefits due to failure to thrive in its Listing of Impairments. It requires that from birth to the age of two, the baby fails to land in the bottom-third percentile in weight for length at least three times within a consecutive 12-month period (with each failure being at least 60 days apart), or similar failures between the ages of two and three. On top of that, the child must exhibit either two documented development delays occurring at least 120 days apart, or one that consistently indicates development at below two-thirds the level expected for their age.