Newborn Qualifications for Social Security Benefits

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If your child is born with a severe disability, he may qualify for disability payments even as a newborn. The amount of disability your child receives depends on his parents' income and resources as well as on the severity of the disability. If your child must stay in the hospital for 30 days or more after birth, he is eligible for $30 per month in disability payments while he is hospitalized regardless of his parents' income. Your child may also receive benefits if one or both parents are disabled or if a parent who qualifies for benefits dies.

Premature Babies

  • Premature newborns may qualify for disability payments due to their birth weight. As of May 2011, Social Security automatically considers a child qualified for disability payments if she weighs less than 2 pounds, 10 ounces. In addition, your child automatically qualifies for disability payments if she is born completely deaf or blind or if she suffers from certain conditions, such as HIV infection, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or Down syndrome.

Disability Review

  • If your newborn qualified for disability payments due to low birth weight, the Social Security Administration must review his case and determine whether he is still disabled on his first birthday. However, if the child's low birth weight is due to another disabling condition rather than to being premature, the Social Security Administration may determine before the child's first birthday that he is still disabled. In this case, the SSA must review the child's case every three years.

Parent's Disability

  • If a parent qualifies for disability payments when a child is born, the child is entitled to up to 50 percent of the parent's disability benefit, depending on the family's income and the size of the family. Parents may apply for these benefits for their children as soon as the child has a Social Security number. Children can get these benefits from birth until the age of 16. If a parent dies, the child is entitled to up to 75 percent of the parent's disability or retirement benefits.

Applying for Social Security

  • Your newborn must have a Social Security number to qualify for disability or other Social Security payments. Apply for Social Security when you provide information at the hospital for your child's birth certificate. At the hospital, you need to provide both parents' Social Security numbers. If you wait until you come home to apply for Social Security numbers for your newborn, you must visit the Social Security office and show proof of the child's age and his United States citizenship as well as provide both parents' Social Security numbers.

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