2005-06-09 / Other News

Supplemental Security Income Benefits For Premature Babies?

Steve Beck Manager, Canarsie Office

Steve BeckManager, Canarsie Office

Question: My sister-in-law just had a baby who was born six weeks prematurely and only weighs about 4 pounds. I was told that premature infants can get Supplemental Security Income. Is this true?

Answer : Certain low-birth-weight infants can receive SSI disability benefits, whether they are premature or not. The Social Security Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov includes a chart which shows the weight and gestational age at which children would qualify for benefits. Or you can call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local office for more information.

Question: My brother applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits a couple of years ago because he had a severe back injury. He was told that his disability wasn’t severe enough to qualify for benefits. Since then, he has developed diabetes. Can he reapply?

Answer : Your brother should call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask about reapplying. Medical conditions can change, and the change may mean that an individual once denied benefits would now qualify for them.

Question: When my grandfather died, my grandmother received a $255 death benefit. But when she died, Social Security told me that I couldn’t get this lump-sum death payment. Why not?

Answer : A lump-sum death benefit of $255 may be paid when a person dies who has worked long enough to be insured under the Social Security program. The lump-sum death benefit can be paid upon the death of the insured person even if he or she were not receiving retirement or disability benefits at the time of death. This payment can only be made to a spouse who was living with the worker at the time of death or to a spouse or a child who, in the month of death, is eligible for a Social Security benefit based on the worker’s record. If no spouse or child meets the requirements, the benefit can not be paid.

For more information, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the publications Survivor Benefits or get it

online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/


Social Security

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