Because low birth weight infants may experience problems related to their prematurity and associated perinatal complications, the Social Security Administration has made low birth weight a criteria for disability of a child under Supplemental Security Income. In doing so, the Social Security Administration recognized that the lower an infant’s birth weight, the greater the likelihood and severity of problems the infant might suffer in the future. Such problems may require lengthy initial hospitalizations or can result in long-term complications involving the infant’s growth, developmental patterns, physical health, and age-appropriate functioning.

Under Listing 100.04, an infant’s weight is evaluated from birth until the infant reaches the age of 1. The Social Security Administration will look at the infant’s birth weight and gestational age. Birth weight is defined as the first weight recorded after birth. An infant’s birth weight is that weight which was documented in an original or certified copy of the infant’s birth certificate or by a medical record signed by a physician. Gestational age is the infant’s age based on the date of conception as recorded in the medical record. 1 pound is equal to 453.59 grams.