Social Security Benefits For Children: What You Need To Know

3 August 2015
 Categories: Law, Articles

Social Security benefits do not merely stop at the disabled, elderly and retired. Rather, the benefits of Social Security can extend to the disabled, elderly or retired individual's children. Each year, over 4 and a half million children reap the benefits of $2.5 billion dollars spent on them for Social Security. So what benefits do children of Social Security benefactors receive? Well, there is a long list of benefits the children can potentially receive. Find out what a child can receive, when a child can receive the benefits and what exactly those benefits are below.

Who Can Receive Child's Benefits?

There are a number of individuals who qualify for children's benefits for Social Security. Notably, these consist of the Social Security recipient's biological children, their adopted children or their dependent stepchildren.

There are also cases where, if you are a grandparent yet the legal guardian of a child, these children too can be eligible for receiving your Social Security benefits. The child must also meet certain other qualifications. The parent, grandparent or legal guardian must be disabled, retired and eligible to receive to Social Security benefits or the child must have a parent that is now deceased who worked a long enough time period to start paying into Social Security.

In addition, the child must also be unmarried, under the age of 18 or between the ages of 18 and 19 and a full time student (so long as the student is not in a grade higher than that of his or her senior year of high school) or over the age of 18 and disabled (although the disability must have been diagnosed before his or her 22nd birthday).

What You Will Need When You Apply For Child's Benefits

The first and foremost thing you will need when you apply for these benefits is the child's birth certificate, as well as the parent and child's social security numbers. There may be certain other documents required depending on what sort of benefits your child is applying for.

For example, if the child is applying for survivor's benefits, he or she must also have a proof of death certificate of the parent, grandparent or legal guardian. If the child is applying for benefits due to a disability, the child must provide medical documentation of his or her disability. The Social Security representative to whom you speak will be able to tell you of any other documents you will need to bring with you.

It will help, when applying for social security benefits for a child, to get the help of a social security lawyer to help you navigate this difficult task.

Benefits That Extend Beyond The Age Of 18

Typically speaking, benefits cease to exist once the child turns 18 years of age. However, there are certain cases and conditions that a child can continue to receive benefits. Most notably, if the child is still a student or is disabled, he or she may continue to receive benefits. 3 months before the child's 18th birthday, he or she will receive a notice that his or her benefits will cease on his or her 18th birthday.

If the child is still in school (no grade higher than the equivalent of the 12th grade in high school), then he or she can continue to receive benefits, so long as the school sends in a certified document stating when the child is expected to graduate. Likewise, disabled children can continue to receive benefits long after they turn 18, so long as their disability was diagnosed before they turn 22.

Hopefully, you've learned a bit about how benefits are constituted for children of those receiving Social Security benefits. The ins and outs can be a bit tricky to explain, but hopefully, you've learned if your child, or if you're legally a child, you, can benefit from your parents' Social Security benefits.

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