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Does a failure to thrive justify SSD benefits?

| Aug 3, 2020 | Social Security Disability Benefits

Ask someone in Los Angeles to define the term “Social Security disability benefits,” and they will likely respond by saying that it is the federal financial assistance given to adults who are unable to work. Such answers may be understandable; after all, why would a minor child need to help their parents provide for their own support? 

However, this assumption overlooks the face that when you have a disabled child, the expenses that often accompany the treatment of their conditions can place an enormous strain on your family’s finances. Often, that need for such treatment can arise very early on in your child’s life. 

Understanding failure to thrive

Your child getting through birth relatively unscathed does not mean that concerning conditions with their health cannot suddenly surface. Indeed, many children often experience what clinician’s call a “failure to thrive,” which basically means that a child is not experiencing typical physical development at an expected rate. In many cases, clinicians addressed incidences of such a condition with simple adjustments to a child’s diet (or they may resolve themselves with the passage of time). Yet when your child fails to meet to growth and development expectations over an extended period, additional medical intervention may become necessary. 

Qualifying for SSD benefits due to a failure thrive

The question then becomes if your child can qualify for SSD benefits because of their failure to thrive. Per the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments, to do so, your child must exhibit three distinct examples of a low body-mass-index or weight-for-length ratio in a 12-month period (and at least 60 days apart) that place them in the one-third percentile for their age. Additionally, they must exhibit documented development delays that are either in the lower two-third percentile or two standard deviations below the mean for their age group. 

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