Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Preemies & Social Security

Social Security BenefitsA few weeks ago I was listening to Dave Ramsey’s talk radio show and a woman called in and said she had recently had a preemie baby.  She had started receiving social security benefits during her baby’s NICU stay and then continued to receive them for a few months after her baby came home because of her baby’s “disability” of being extremely premature.

Apparently after some time passed the government contacted her and told her she had been overpaid and now would have to pay back the government some thousands of dollars she should not have received.

Although I sympathized with the woman and thought how horrible it was that the government would make her pay back the social security money she had received to help her care for her preemie infant, I was more surprised at Dave Ramsey’s response to her situation.  He seemed to be more appalled that a preemie baby was given social security benefits for being disabled than he was about the woman’s money issue.  He even went on for a minute or two about it and suggested that giving disability benefits to preemie babies was another major fault in our government system.

Now, I know that this might be a controversial issue, but I also know that many of us, including myself, received social security checks for our baby’s “disability” of prematurity.  For me, it was a huge relief to have some financial help and a blessing I had not counted on during the initial trauma of my preemie delivery.  Considering everything else that preemie parents have to worry about and get through, especially all of the financial strains, I think social security benefits are well placed to assist preemie baby families.

I have no intention of shedding a bad light on Dave Ramsey; I am a huge fan of his and his financial advice (hence listening to him on the radio – in fact my husband and I are nearing the end of Baby Step 2!)  This was just one more example of thoughtlessness in response to what preemie parents go through.  It would have been nice if Dave hadn’t jumped to a judgmental conclusion about something he knows little about, but had stayed focused on the woman’s dilemma regardless of how it came about.

Do you have any thoughts to share on the subject?  I appreciate your comments and stories!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices. Send a message to Afton.

Comments

  1. I think we got $30 every month that she was in the hospital…and hey, it helped! :) We also qualified for Medicare to pay the medical bills that our private health insurance didn’t cover.

    Have you thought about contacting Dave Ramsey to share your opinion? I wonder what kind of a response you’d get!

  2. Stacey Roberts says:

    Just wondering…where do we draw the line? We also had a preemie and received nothing. I chose to NOT take the SS because I unlike many, do not think anybody owes me anything. There are all kinds of hand outs for people these days and many do take advantage of the system…ie. why the system is broken. I know of another family here, that chose not to get married until after their baby was born so that they could get everything for free. They had been living together for 6 years. Wound up having a preemie and then sucked of the system for a full year after. Their combined income is 2X what we make. I lost my job when we had our preemie, but we live very skinny. One TV in the house…two old vehicles (paid for)…no expensive cell phones, no big screen TV’s. Many living on welfare, ss and such have all these things. How fair is that? The Govt needs to take a look at what they are doing to people by offering all these free rides. I believe it is making our citizens (and non-citizens) more dependant and less eager to work for what is truly deserved.

    • American Dad says:

      I have paid well over the $30 a month I received while my daughter was in the hospital. Social Security and Medicaid both were designed and intended for people who pay into the system. So if you have a job, you deserve the benifits of both.

      • Mom of a Preemie says:

        I agree, my husband and I have both been working for a long time, a combined 30 years between the two of us, both having at least 2-3 jobs during college. Besides our social security contributions, which we’ll likely never see besides these tiny payments we’re putting in a separate bank account for our baby when he grows up, we pay over $30K each year in taxes. I have NO issue taking the $30 we’re offered each month and the medicaid and the WIC assistance.

    • i think it is for people who need it but there are to many who take advantage and use it my daughter had a preemie baby last year and she was only 19 yea it helped but it also helped take care of the dead beat dad that was not there until a year and a half later how long do they get this money to live on because she has yet to get a job and try to support her and the baby also it is suppose to be for him not her to live off of and her rents behind her ipl is behind i have tried to get the ss fraud dept to do something and they just send her a paper to fill out on what she spends it on and she can put anything they don’t check nothing i think it should have to be proven that the money is going for the well being of the child not the personal use of the parents because that is not what it is intended for

    • Also how long do they receive the money he is going on two years old and she still gets it he was suppose to wear glass but he only wore them on apt day to make it look good

  3. Personally, I believe social security and welfare were created for people who really needed it but it has turned into something that many people abuse because they can get away with it. Certainly, if you don’t need the assistance I think it’s admirable and honest to decline government help. If you sincerely need the help for the sake of your family’s livelihood after doing everything in your own power to provide for yourself and not be dependent on the government, then I think it’s okay to accept help that comes your way.

    The problem lies in those who abuse the system and accept handouts when they do nothing to help themselves, and in those who don’t need the assistance but take it because they can get it.

    That’s just my opinion. Being a preemie parent I understand how financially straining it can be, especially for those who’s preemies spend months in the NICU and for those who have to travel far, stay in hotels, or change their livelihood to take care of their tiny infant. It’s a personal decision based on personal circumstances that requires an honest assessment of your family’s needs.

    • This was in response to Stacey’s comment.

    • I was trying to find out about the help that is out there. My daughter delivered at 26 weeks & 4 days. The baby was 3 months early, they are going home tomorrow. She has been told no daycare and no large gatherings. She really wants to stay home but the bills are piling up, her husband works but he can’t handle all the bills. Just wondered what other sources are out there for them. They do get $30.00 a month from SSI.
      Thanks, A concerned Mimi

  4. I didn’t even know that was available, but I pay taxes and gladly would have accepted that help when my babe was born 9 weeks early

  5. I was grateful to receive social security, not because I counted on the money ($30 a month, for the months he was in the NICU), but because SS is the entree classification to getting Medicaid in my state.

    My son was born at 28 weeks, 12 weeks premature, and spent 115 days in the NICU. He was a half million dollar baby, of which I was responsible for about $50K, prior to Medicaid. Medicaid took care of everything.

    It also helped insofar as the prescription-only formula my son received to help him gain weight. We are still struggling with Failure to Thrive, and he is now a chronological year old, but having monetary help with these bills has been appreciated.

    Incidentally, I have paid for many things the government does not touch. Primary among these things was child care. I wish my son could have gone to a normal child care center or family daycare; however, preemies must be secluded their first winter, to avoid RSV infection, which can severely harm a preemie’s lungs or cause death. My son had to have 1:1 childcare in my home while I worked (single parent income) — and that childcare is not cheap. So instead of paying a center’s fees, I paid a provider double to care for my son, a child who needs medication 2 times a day (so the cre provider had to be specially trained) and received physical therapy (and she had to practice this too while I was working).

    At no point have I profited fromt eh government’s help. I am so in debt it isn’t funny. But I would declaring bankruptcy had SS not been available, solely for the Medicaid assistance alone. Dave Barry needs to live on my income (moderate), have education loans, and give borth to a child 12 weeks premature, to see if he can make it. For goodness sakes’, the first 6 weeks of his life, I spent in the Ronald McDonald House. Although I only paid $15 a night for this, it worked out to be another whole mortgage payment in one month! And don’t get me started on the things I had to pay for during that month, like food while at the NICU, 3 pump rentals and purchases (I kept trying to get milk and it wasn’t there), and someone to mow my lawn because I was at my child’s bedside … come on, Dave Barry, walk a mile in my shoes!

  6. My daughter is now 7 so it has been a long time since we received those SS checks. She was 1 lb. at birth and in the hospital for 4 months. She left the hospital on oxygen and with a continuous stream of medical and therapy appointments. The little bit of money helped but most of all the extra insurance was invaluable.
    We are a middle class family and both work very hard. My husband works 18 hours a day at least 5 days out of the week and the other 2 he is working at least 8 hours. I also work full time. We put money INTO the system all the time. A lot of money. So I did not feel bad or as if I was receiving a handout when we got the SS benefits and the medical insurance for our little peanut. We had to care for her and take time out of work and all the other things that come with having a micro preemie.

  7. We received the $30 a month and we didn’t really need that, but having Medicaid as a third party insurance really helped. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I both added Roxy to our insurance policies through our employers to cover as much as possible, but Medicaid picked up the balances. It helped. Personally I think that I would rather the money go to help preemies than I would other individuals who claim to have disabilities to receive it.

  8. wasn’t even aware it was an option because i’ve never expected the government to take care of us. i am sure we don’t qualify for medicaid because we make ‘too much $$’ even though we struggle to make ends meet because of salary reduction, have 5 children and now have medical bills on top of that. our social worker told us that 85% of those babies in the NICU don’t pay a dime for it because of gov’t assistance. she said it was a shame that a nice family like us has to pay out the nose when we CHOSE to have this baby, we have a stable home and do our best to raise good kids. thought that was an interesting perspective.

  9. My son was born at 29.5 weeks, exactly at the upper most weight limit for receiving SSI. I am so thankful for this because I’m a college student and previously worked part-time, but I lost my job when I had him early. This allows me to stay at home and help him get through the winter, hopefully avoiding RSV. Now, it’s not as much money as I was making part-time, but I think being able to stay home with him this winter is so important, so I’m very grateful for this program. I doubt my son will receive it past 1 year, as he’s doing very well, but he does still has sensitive lungs.

  10. i think that it is appropiate, my girls were born at 25 weeks and they both recieve it

  11. Stacey Roberts says:

    Our preemie is now almost 2. We never received any benefits We are probably considered poor, but would rather be poor than suck off the Govt. I refused the hand outs. Had Social Services come talk to us repeatedly while we were up there squeezed in between mostly illegals (Odessa TX). I’m sure they got a free ride…

  12. it is very helpful and I support it as they are citizens born here and should receive all the help they can get. I disagree when others come here and never worked a day in their life and receive all types of benefits. They should point the finger at them not the preemies that deserve it.

  13. I don’t feel that I was “sucking off the gov’t” when my preemie twins received benefits. They were very sick for awhile and I have been paying into these benefits for years.

  14. I am kind of torn on this topic I have twin preemies that one of my boys does receive SSI but it is a very small amount. I am a single mom and I work and make a decent amount of money enough to support us. The money I get from SSI doesn’t e…ven buy diapers for us for a month but what I am thankful for is the Medicaid that my son receives for his secondary insurance. He has had several surgeries and continued therapies that would not be covered completely by my private insurance. The medicaid covers the co-pays which would be difficult for me to have to pay on my own.

  15. These babies deserve all they can get. If you have had a preemie than you should understand that. Its about the baby and the quality of life for that sweet little miracle. It should never be looked at as “sucking off the gov’t”. Having a preemie is difficult and ANY help in ANY way is a blessing. We pay into it, so why not get it?!?!

  16. i dont think the babies should get it just cause thay are preemies if they hve justfied reason like a disabilty. not just prematurity i had twins at 28w5d and i didnt recieve any.

  17. Stacey Roberts says:

    You have to abide by the Gov’ts rules for all their care and lose your ability to make decisions for your own children when you take money. Most of us have been paying into these benefits…but the truth is there arn’t REALLY any of them left. My child was VERY sick as well and yes finances were VERY difficult. Finally paid all the bills off in June. Glad those who need help actually get it, not so thrilled for those that take advantage….which I have witnessed are MANY!

  18. i totally agree with u stacey i feel to many people take advantge of it that dont need it. so then its hard for the ones that do need it.

  19. my family wouldn’t have a home or food if we hadn’t gotten the help my son was born at 23 weeks. prematurity is a disability for him he is 7 months old but should only be 3 months. he has to have therapy and medications. the benefits were a huge blessing for our family. we are hard working parents who would rather not use these benefits but didn’t have a choice if we wanted a home for our 2 children.

  20. My son was a preemie, he gets disablity, he has a G-tube and cronic lung disease and has been hospitalize for 7 out of 9 months of his life. There is No one who babysits children with feeding pumps and lung problem. If i didnt get it i dont know how i would make it.

  21. and stacey its single moms like me who need that help cause who do you think would take care of my son if i had to go to work. No one, a foster family thats who, how much would that cost a month outta what you been paying in?

  22. Well I’ve been working for years with no help from the government so as soon as I am able to finally get help for a decent cause I gladly took it. With the several appts newborns have let alone preemies, u can imagine how much the co-pays w…ould add up. Also the Rx’s. The SS checks are helpful as I have opened an account specifically for my son where I will deposit these checks. Like one of the earlier ladies said above, these babies deserve everything that will help them.

    **mother of 26 weeker**

  23. Interesting. Like you said, how can Dave be so judgmental about something he know so little about! My baby was born at 26 weeks, and have chronic lung disease and other issues- I feel like he is well qualified to receive Ss. Dave is just another person who do not know and understand the life of a preemie mom:-(

  24. Very disappointed in Dave Ramsey. I would love to hear this. Do you happen to have a link? I wasn’t able to find anything on his website.

  25. my son was a preemie and i was never told i could get ss for him. he is now 21 months old bt is healthy but we do get medicaid for him. he was born 2 months premature.

  26. I am very, very disappointed in Dave Ramsey. People are so judgemental. They seem to not even have a clue when it comes to premature babies. My son was 17 weeks early and weighed only 14 oz. Yes, it was my choice to do everything to ke…ep him alive and I am so glad that I did. We too received the $30 check every month while in the NICU. The biggest help, like so many peole have said, is having the additional Medicaid. It helped cover the other expenses that my husband’s insurance did not cover. My son has chronic lung disease, numerous medications, glasses, helmet and is on oxygen 24 hours a day. To boot, I had to quit my job during my pregnancy, because of complications and I have not been able to return to work due to my son’s high risk status. I don’t believe in abusing the system, but I have never accepted help from any agency up until my son. DO you know how much it costs to have a 17 week early baby who weighed 14 oz.? Try millions of dollars! I believe this is out there for certain babies and people who qualify. This is to help babies, may I remind everyone. It is not a handout to parents. It is for these babies and we are treating it as such. Until people have been in a situation, I wish they would try not to be so judgemental.

  27. Stacey Roberts says:

    can I just ask…where are all the baby daddy’s? Why are we not getting the one’s who made the baby’s help? Does anyone see a pattern here. I know it happens…but ladies it keeps happening more and more and more. The number of unwed mo…ther’s in the NICU was astounding. I would hazard one in 10 were married. I know couples who intentionally didn’t get married before having children so they could apply for benefits. I am only commenting on what was best for me and my family. If you are in need (you define)…then so be it…if you are not and are sitting at home with Medicaide and SS paying for everything while you choose not to work and take care of your own, then you are a blood sucking leach on society. Our little boy had CLD, septic, 2 blood transfusions, ROP surgery on both eyes. Lucky to have health insurance…but let me tell you the overage expenses were off the chart horrible. We paid the balances off little by little and have finally finished paying off all Dr’s and hospital costs. We started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Freedom 1 year before we got married. We don’t have anything new…no new clothes, no new furniture, old beat up cars…don’t live beyond our means. Our church helped support us with prayers and constant visits. I lived in a trailor on the grounds of the hospital for 3 months so I could be by my son’s side while he struggled to survive. My husband worked extra hours and put in for more shifts. There are barely any morals left in our society any more…everyone feels justified and deserving of everything. I would bet that Dave was right on target.

    • Stacey: Soooo true. It takes two to raise a child let alone afford one. Unless you are Jennifer Aniston, with millions in the bank and who can afford a child, let alone a preemie, stop sucking the life out of the taxpayer…and please don’t get me started on the illegals who receive everything free. Those receiving government assistance have the best cell phones, the most rediculous painted nails, and hair weavings beyond afforadability. It these so called parents who rarely visit the life they brought in to this world. Ladies, when you grow up and can afford having a child, all the best to you. Until then, I’m tired of supporting your lifestyles! Live within your means and be RESPONSIBLE adults and a role model to your children!!!!!!!!!

  28. i am getting ssi for my daughter that is almost 3 months and she was born at 28 weeks she is still in the hospital and if it wasnt for that i dunno what i would do its only $30 but it helps and Stacey you ask where are all the babys daddys well my daughters dad wants nothing to do with her and i dont want to go after him for child support because i dont want him to have visitation with her so therefore i think my daughters safety is well way worth any amount of money i would get from him!!

  29. My son’s father is the bread winner of our family. He works to keep a roof over our head. I suggest you take a step back and really look at all of this for a second. Not all mother’s of preemie’s are not married, but a lot are unmarried…. Does it really matter that much. Maybe people were in a relationship prior to having their miracle and then the stress of having preemie tore the family apart. Do you know the amount of stress people go through with preemie’s, besides dealing with work, money, relationships. I am sure you do! Then take a step back. Also, I am sure some of the father’s do help out.
    My son endured 8 surgeries overall in our 6 month NICU stay. There is no way we could have ever afforded his hospital bills and they are still coming. THe amount we receive is not a lot, but it does help.
    Obviously, you have received something from someone. You make it sound like you declined all of it. I read that you lived in a trailer on the grounds of the hospital in order to see your son. That is accepting help! I am not coming down on you for accepting the help, but you make it seem like you never accept anything and that we are all sitting at home on our behinds accepting help. I take care of my son every day. I cannot take him to a daycare, due to the chronic lungs and medications, let alone the cost of a daycare that could meet his medical needs. Therefore, my husband works and I raise our children. Thank you so much for trying to put all of us down for your choices. They are your choices and your beliefs. I am sorry you are so bitter, but refrain from taking it out on everyone else and trying to put all of us down.

  30. Let’s be realistic. There are people all over this country that abuse the system. Some of them happen to have preemies and continue to abuse the system, but there are also many of us out there that need the system and it is there to help us when we need it. This whole topic isn’t a preemie thing, it’s for politics!

  31. Whoa everyone! Please refrain from name-calling and accusing. I was hoping this topic would inspire some discussion, but name-calling is inappropriate. Even though we are all preemie parents and have that binding common ground, we still …all had very different experiences with our preemies and with emotional, financial, and family problems related to it.

    Differing opinions are welcome within respectful boundaries. I find that most often when I make judgmental comments about people I know nothing about I end up being wrong about them. Please keep your comments focused on your own known experience and not on what you assume everyone else is doing. There should not be anyone who feels they have to defend themselves here.

    Susan – I simply heard the call to Dave Ramsey on his radio show. I don’t know if they transcribe the calls or record them for public access. If you discover that they do I’ll try harder to remember about what day it was I heard it.

    Stacey – I appreciate your personal opinion about social security and preemie babies, but I don’t appreciate your generalizations and absolutes that make the rest of us feel attacked and judged without grounds or facts to support your accusations.

    Let’s not make this a political discussion. I appreciate simply shared personal opinions or experiences that will help new preemie parents who are facing this issue right now make a more informed decision.

    Thanks everyone!

  32. my son was born at 25 weks i turned down bennifets for awhile thinking i could do it all on my own. Just before my sons first birthday and him still in the hospital i decided that my son needed the medical that comes with ssi i asked if we …could get just the medical and they said no. So i thought about it awhile more and decided i would use it. my son who is now 2 gets benifits and thank god he does he has had 15 surgeries he has a trach and cld he has a g-tube he has heart conditions, stage 3 rop with plus disease, oxygen, heart and o2 monitors. Numberous ambulance bills. My son has had to go by life fight. Therapy twice aweek he has to see a feeding clinic. he has had weekly weight checks at the pediatricians. my son will require tons of speach thereapy when the trach comes out. my son makes no sound he cant even cry do to the trach my 2 year old has spent over 75% of his life on a vent. I am very thankful for the help from ssi that my son gets. For all the moms who get help does your child get ddd?

  33. If your baby is truly disable that’s what it is there for. My son was 33 w and is doing quite well except for a bad case of reflux. Taking $ from the government never entered my mind. We are weighed down with at least $15,000 in medical bills.

  34. It’s been a while since my 26 week preemie (weighing 1 lb. even at birth– 6 months is the hospital and a whole slew of problems) was born and placed on SSI and Medicaid while in the hospital to help with the bills was born—could someone who has been in that situation recently remind me again of what the “qualifications” are to be placed on SSI?

  35. Stacey Roberts says:

    so sorry…didn’t mean to offend anyone. Gets me very frustrated. It’s not free money falling out of the sky. We all have to pay for it and we all love our children. I am just so tired of these men who don’t take care of their own child…ren. My sister is one example…I’m not claiming anyone of these females on HERE are taking advantage, but we can all agree that this is a problem. What is the link to Dave Ramsey’s call…I think that would help answer alot of questions since that is what the original post was about. I do have proof of the families that I KNOW, who admittingly told me and my husband that it was more economical to NOT get married.

  36. SSI may vary by state. Our state goes by weight– 2 lbs., 10 oz. (I may be off on the ounces). And as far as my husband goes, he is here day in and day out, taking care of our two boys while I am the one to go to work. And, yes, my son i…s on Medicaid. We pay into the system; we should be able to take from it when our son needs it. That is how Teddy Roosevelt intended to be– a fix to a temporary problem. And that is how we are using it– temporarily, not permanently. It’s there when we need it, and for that, I am truly grateful. For those who choose not to receive it, that is a choice. Don’t condemn others for fighting for what is our child’s right to a healthy life.

  37. Well said Susan Selby. Well said.

  38. Stacey Roberts says:

    nobody is condemning someone who is admittingly in need. I think I have said that 3X now. Those who take advantage are wrong and this is obviously pointless because it looks like this is a one-sided argument if EVERYONE on here is taking SS and Medicaid. Done, God Bless America

  39. we even tried just to get WIC to help out but they said No, we made too much? like $1000 over annual limit. really? it didn’t feel like we were! :( The lady told me to quit my job or for my husband too! Or at least cut back my hrs at work! If I had cut back my hrs at work we would have not had enough to pay our bills AND my health insurance benefits would change with bigger deductibles and bigger premiums! Medicaid, yea right, wouldn’t have gotten that either! momma of a 32 weeker

  40. I agree with Susan 100%. It does vary, but a lot of it goes by the weight and gestational age born. It also depends on your household income too. You have to qualify in certain areas to receive it. We were offered it right away, due to …my son being born at 23 weeks and weighing only 14 oz. My son qualified all on his own due to these factors. Also, my son’s medical needs qualified him to keep receiving benefits. Like Susan has said…it is temporary. It sounds like the families here do need it and who are we to judge any differently. I am just glad that it is out there for those who are in need. God Bless these tiny little miracles and their families!

  41. We Have Triplets that were born @ 27 weeks, and YES we are on Medicaid, SSI and WIC. I had to quit my job cause I don’t want to put my children in daycare, but also one is a “special needs child”. I don’t feel that I abuse the system at all…. My husband works, we pay taxes. When we only had one child, thing were very different, I worked and we could afford things, but not now.. I wonder if Dave Ramsey has kids or has ever been in “our situation” to where my babies where in the hospital for 2-5 months..I wish people would kept their mouth shut since they don’t know what they are talking about..

  42. We have a former 28 weeker and yes he receives SSi. He just got off oxygen at 8 months old. HE HAS MODERATE BPD AND MEDS and so yes my husband is a say at home dad while I go to work.

  43. I have a former 27 weeker and he receives SSi. I am not married but my sons father take care of our house hold. Before my second son (27 weeker) I was the bread winner. But since my son was a preemie and now he cannot attend daycare I stay …at home with my children. If it weren’t for SSI and Medicaid I don’t know how we would make it. My sons father does not receive benefits and I can’t afford to pay for insurance anymore. Some people need to walk in someone else’s shoes before they judge. SSI is helping to pay our bills and make sure my children have a roof over their head.

  44. Mommy25wkr says:

    No one in their right mind can pay for a preemie. I came across this article from a friend of mine who was outraged by David Ramseys comments. My husband and I had a 25 weeker in 2009 who spent over 180 days in the NICU. He came home on a ventilator, oxygen, and has a g-tube. We BOTH had our son on our insurance policy and paid over 600 dollars a month in premiums. That still was not enough. His bills for the NICU alone were over 2.3 million dollars. We are both MD’s and do not qualify for SSI benefits, but have had our son on Medicaid since he came home. His bills for 1 month on a ventilator and oxygen are over 8K. I have seen families ruin their lives financially by not accepting benefits. Please dont feel ashamed for taking the help that you pay in to.

    Dr. Kay

    • Asher26weekerMommy says:

      All though this is a bit late, THANK YOU Dr Kay. Our son (yes married) was also in the NICU for 120+ days, although my husband and I both have great jobs, great benefits, having the Medicaid pick up what our insurance didn’t has saved us in so many ways. We would have been close to financial ruin without it.

  45. mamaof28wkoldbaby says:

    My son was born 28 weeks early, while I was at work, in a bathroom stall. I delivered without any pain meds or medical assistance. We are staying at the Ronald McDonald house because we live far away from the NICU. And yes we have him on SSI and he has Medicaid as well. I am working and paying for premiums for my husband and I. My husband takes care of our baby and stays with him as I can’t. My son is supposed to be there for at least 3 months. 3 months in the NICU will cripple anyone, even a household with 2 working parents. I am glad that he is receiving help and getting benefits which my husband paid for for many many years when he was working.

    • Oh my goodness! Did you have any warning signs before going into labor? I bet you were terrified. I hope your baby does well in the NICU and that you will have financial help to help pay for your tiny baby. Best wishes to you and your family.

  46. Risa Dungan says:

    After 7 years of trying I finally was preg. and with twins at that. In the first couple months I found out I had twin to twin transfusion and was unable to work and went on long term disablitity from my job. Then my twins had to be delivered 11 wks. early. They were in the NICU and I did not know if they would make it. Then I was notified by my employer the where filling my position. Apparently they can do that after you are on medical maternity leave for an extended time. I had no idea what I was going to do. I would be losing my insurance and my income. The social worker at the hospital told me about being able to recieve SS. At first I said no I would find another job and work. Then one of my children took a turn for the worse and finding a job no longer option. The SS I received for my children made it possible for me to take care of them when they came home. There is no way I could have worked with all the medical issues and appts. we had. It is easy to point a finger and say someone is taking advantage when you don’t have a clue what all having a preemies involves. You want to talk about those who should not receive SS, lets talk about the herione addicts that get it.

  47. my son was born yesturday…..he is in the NICU. I have been having trouble making ends meet for last couple of months since i was laid off from my job. I must have put 30 or more applications in for a new job but i have received no calls to come in and work….now my bills are due again, and all our saving are gone…our insurance should cover the cost of the hospital; but i dont know what we are going to now with the rest of our bills……i am not currantly receiving any ssi but i would rather have a job. My greatest consern is that my family will have no home to return to once we leave to hospital…is SSI the only solution or do i have other options availible?

  48. bonolarryedge says:

    my son was born at 25 weeks…..i cant go back to work….i cant just turn my back on my child that needs me desperatey. his father helps as much as possible….but he isnt rich by any means…..gás prices alone makes life impossible…..why shouldnt we take the ss checks……we are the ones that have paid into that agency…..whats up?

  49. Skye Phillips says:

    I have had a son at 24 weeks ( feb. 7th ). He has had heart surqery, ROP in his riqht eye, been on the vent, an cpap for the lonqest. He is now on nasal canula an learninq how to eat from a bottle. He has had a qreat come around. My social worker had asked about ssi, an i imediately took it. I have no income because im only 16. He is now 4 months corrected and supposed to be a week old tomorrow. My due date was on the 25th. I was devistated that i couldnt stay with him at the Ronald McDonald house, but im glad the nurses let me stay in his room with him. ( :

  50. My son was born 10 weeks early and yes we do get ssi payments without them i wouldnt be able to afford him or anything he needs.I lost my job when i was put on bed rest for my entire pregnancy an i now have to stay home to take care of him. He has therapy all the time for his disorder that he has.I think people to take advantage of the system but there are people who dont and do need it.I would love to go back to work i miss it but i do what is best for my son.

  51. Christina says:

    i dont think its taking from the governmen. i had twins and lost one and stayed in the hospital for five weeks and then had my daughter and she stayed in the nicu for three weeks it was so hard seeing some of the families not being able to afford there babies stay or operations, i believe the government should do more for these babies its not there fault and most of the time its not the mothers fault either. the army paid my bills and when i recieved all my statements i cried cuz i knew without me being in the army i wouldnt have been able to afford the surgery in florida at 18 weeks or my five week stay or her three week stay.

  52. My preemie is no longer a preemie, though she was born at 24 weeks 1 pound 5 ounces she is now 6 yrs old. She received the $30 benefit with her 3 mo stay in the NICU. Once home she qualified for another benefit. At the time I had to quit my job and take her to all the doctors and therapy’s and be home for oxygen and other medical supply deliveries. Now we are in repayment due to me having a small 401k still in my old jobs account. So I “owe” the government. Not my plan at all. My husband and I have had paid for cars and we do not even have cable soooo NO body is living rich over here. I believe she would still qualify for a benefit but I’m so uninterested in the government and their “help” you wouldn’t believe. Oh the big 401k I had forgotten all about, wasn’t even asked about during SSI Visits was just over 6k… Good luck out there, God Bless all these families.

  53. I know this is an old post, but I can’t believe some of the responses that you got about taking advantage of the government when you have a premie baby and “taking” the SSI benefits. Especially the person who said “we chose to have our baby” and had to pay all of their expenses. A lot of people that have babies in the NICU chose to have their baby as well! Just not so early! And it doesn’t matter about disabilities.. just a night in the NICU is thousands of dollars. Also, my daughter was a 24 weeker, and a million $$ baby. There is NO way I would have been able to afford her without insurance/medicaid. And I do NOT feel guilty about taking the help.

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