Are My Children Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits?

Your child can get benefits if he or she is your biological child, adopted child or dependent stepchild



About 4.4 million children receive approximately $2.5 billion each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. Those dollars help to provide the necessities of life for family members and help to make it possible for those children to complete high school. When a parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help to stabilize the family’s financial future. When you apply for benefits for your child, you will need the child’s birth certificate as well as the parent’s and child’s Social Security numbers. Depending on the type of benefit involved, other documents may be required. In some cases, your child could also be eligible for benefits on his or her grandparents’ earnings.

Within a family, a child may receive up to one-half of the parent’s full retirement or disability benefit, or 75 percent of the deceased parent’s basic Social Security benefit. However, there is a limit to the amount of money that can be paid to a family. The family maximum payment is determined as part of every Social Security benefit computation and can be from 150 to 180 percent of the parent’s full benefit amount. If the total amount payable to all family members exceeds this limit, each person’s benefit is reduced proportionately (except the parent’s) until the total equals the maximum allowable amount.

When will my child's benefits end?


Three months before your child’s 18th birthday, Social Security will send you a notice that benefits will end at age 18 unless your child is a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school. If your child is younger than 19 and still attending a secondary or elementary school, he or she must notify Social Security by completing a statement of attendance that has been certified by a school official. The benefits will usually continue until he or she graduates, or until two months after reaching age 19, whichever comes first.

To receive benefits, a child must have:
- A parent(s) who is disabled or retired and entitled to Social Security benefits; or
- A parent who died after having worked long enough in a job where he or she paid Social Security taxes.

The child also must be:
- Unmarried;
- Younger than age 18;
- 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or
- 18 or older and disabled. (The disability must have started before age 22.)

For more information regarding your child's eligibility for disability benefits, contact us now. Our representatives are standing by to help.



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