TN 1 (12-07)

DI 24598.002 Failure to Thrive

A. Definition

Failure to thrive (FTT) is the inability of an infant or young child to grow appropriately. Many children with FTT also show signs of delays in one or more developmental domains.

B. Policy

We evaluate severe FTT under the criteria in listing 105.08. If the child’s impairment does not meet or medically equal this listing, we consider whether the child has an impairment(s) that satisfies the criteria of a listing in another body system. If not, we determine whether his or her impairment(s) functionally equals the listings.

1. Age of Child

We consider FTT to be a medically determinable impairment for children from birth to attainment of age 2, regardless of whether an underlying digestive or other medical condition has been identified. We do not consider FTT to be a medically determinable impairment for children who are age 2 and older. Instead, we identify the underlying condition for these older children who are failing to grow appropriately, and then evaluate it under the criteria of listing 105.08 or under an appropriate listing in another body system.

2. Duration

The child's FTT must last, or be expected to last, for at least 12 months to meet the duration requirement. Generally, at least 6 months of measurements are needed in order to establish that the duration requirement will be met.

3. Weight-For-Length and BMI-For-Age Measurement Charts

We evaluate FTT by using the most recent growth charts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are age-and gender-specific. For children who have not attained age 2, we use weight-for-length measurements to assess whether their impairment satisfies the requirement of 105.08B1.

For children age 2 and older, we use BMI-for-age measurements to assess whether their impairment satisfies the requirement of 105.08B2. BMI is the ratio of the child’s weight to his or her height.


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http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0424598002
DI 24598.002 - Failure to Thrive - 12/21/2007
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:12/21/2007