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Can a Child Get SSI Disability for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

February 25, 2019

Children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or those with a condition that falls on the fetal alcohol spectrum are typically able to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. There are several listings that the Social Security Administration (SSA) when considering children and adults who struggle with fetal alcohol syndrome. If a child meets any of these criteria, it should be possible to get benefits. And even if the child does not meet criteria exactly, it still may be possible to get benefits if the child is impaired in some way.

What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

FAS is a condition that results from alcohol abuse during pregnancy. The alcohol abuse causes problems with the development of the child, problems that continue from birth through adulthood. There are many different symptoms related to FAS. Children with FAS may exhibit some child disability symptoms but not all, and the symptoms can vary based on the age of the individual. These symptoms can include:

  • Low weight at birth
  • Deformities
  • Organ problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Learning disabilities
  • Delays in normal development
  • Problems with behavior

How Does a Child Qualify for Disability Benefits?

The simplest way to qualify for benefits from the SSA is to meet a disability listing. There are a variety of listings related to FAS, such as Listing 100.00 – Low Birth Weight and Failure to Thrive. If the child meets the requirements of the listing, then applying for benefits becomes relatively straightforward. Apply for benefits and include a medical diagnosis and it should be possible to start getting benefits.

Sometimes a child disability may not meet every criteria of a listing. If this is the case then it is often still possible to get benefits. Doing so requires showing that the child’s limitations equal the limitations of a listing functionally. If you can demonstrate that FAS has made it extremely difficult for the child to function normally, you should be able to qualify.

Speaking to an SSI attorney can be helpful if you are uncertain about whether a child qualifies or does not qualify for SSI disability benefits.