One of a new parent’s worst fears is that their child faces a medical problem during or after birth. Weight gain is vital to the growth and development of a child after birth. To face failures in growth during this short time period can have devastating effects that last a lifetime.
If your child faces a low birth weight or failure to thrive in their first months or years of life, then they might need special care as they age. It’s time to consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits.
The Causes of Low Birth Weight or Failure To Thrive
While there isn’t a singular cause for newborns to face a low birth weight or failure to thrive, one common factor can be a low caloric intake.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, an infant or child might have difficulty maintaining or gaining weight due to a lack of nutrition from environmental causes, trauma faced during a premature birth, underlying medical conditions, increased metabolism, or the absorption of inadequate nutrients.
Regardless of whether your infant receives a medical or nursing diagnosis for failure to thrive, you can still apply for social security benefits to help your child.
Evaluating Your Child For Benefits
Low birth weight and failure to thrive are evaluated by the child or infant’s medical record, signed by a physician, as well as their birth certificate. Beyond these two documents, there are three different categories that a child or infant can be evaluated under according to the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book Guidelines:
Weight gain is a vital sign of growth among infants after they are born. Lower birth weights in children under the age of 3 can lead to the development of chronic health conditions and disorders.
A BMI measurement is taken according to the age of the infant in weeks. A comparison is conducted between the actual weight and normal BMI of an infant in grams.
The measurements conducted above are conducted every 60 days for 12 months to track the progression of growth in infants experiencing a low birth weight. This is done before a child turns two years old. Between age 2 and 3, the child is then evaluated for any physical or developmental delays in growth.
To test for these delays in physical or developmental growth, the parents or guardians can take their child to a physician, occupational therapist or early intervention specialist to get a standardized developmental assessment or screening. If a delay is present, then the medical professional conducting the test or screening must make a statement for the child’s health record.
Prior to a screening, any follow up appointments with the physician’s observations of any diagnosed delays may also help for an SSI evaluation.
Worried About Not Qualifying Under The Blue Book?
Some children might face developmental delays or disorders from failure to thrive, yet have a birth weight over 1200 grams. In these cases, the medical disorder or delay is used to evaluate the child’s failure to thrive. Most cases that experience this higher birth weight but are still delayed, face diagnoses like physical growth failure, breathing problems, hearing disorders, seizures, cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, retinopathy of prematurity, and more.
If a child faces a disorder not listed under these circumstances, they still may be evaluated for low birth weight or failure to thrive if they meet at least some of the evaluation criteria under the Blue Book guidelines.