Do children qualify for Social Security benefits? Yes, children may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. When a parent receives Social Security retirement or disability benefits, their child may also receive benefits. Also, when a parent dies, their child may receive benefits. The child can be a biological child, an adopted child, or a stepchild. To qualify for benefits, the child must be unmarried and younger than 18 (or is a student or is disabled – read more below).
Do students qualify for Social Security benefits? If the child is a full-time student (grade 12 and below), they may be entitled to receive benefits. Benefits continue until the child graduates from high-school (grade 12) or until two months after the child turns 19, whichever comes first.
Do children with disabilities qualify for Social Security benefits? If a child with a disability is younger than 18 years old, they may be entitled to benefits just as a child without a disability would. However, if a child is older than 18 years old, but was diagnosed with a disability prior to the age of 22, then the child may be entitled to receive benefits.
What is the benefit amount for a child? A qualifying child may receive up to 50 percent of the parent’s full benefit or up to 75 percent of the parent’s full benefit if the parent is deceased.
What is the benefit amount if there are multiple children? Each qualifying child is eligible to receive up to 50 percent (or up to 75 percent if parent is deceased) of the parent’s full benefit. However, there is a family benefit maximum threshold. If the family benefit exceeds the threshold, benefits will be reduced proportionately.
Learn more about Social Security benefits for children.