A 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!