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Benefits for children

If you are receiving benefits on behalf of a child, there are important things you should know about his or her benefits.

When a child reaches age 18

A child's benefits stop with the month before the child reaches age 18, unless the child is disabled or is a full-time elementary or secondary school student and unmarried. About three months before the child's 18th birthday, you will get a letter explaining how benefits can continue. Social Security also will send the child a letter and a student form.

If your child's benefits stopped at age 18, they can start again if he or she becomes disabled before reaching age 22 or becomes a full-time elementary or secondary school student before reaching age 19. The student needs to contact us to reapply for benefits.

If your 18-year-old child is still in school

Your child can receive benefits until age 19 if he or she continues to be a full-time elementary or secondary school student. When your child's 19th birthday occurs during a school term, benefits usually can continue until completion of the term, or for two months following the 19th birthday, whichever comes first.

You should tell us immediately if your child marries, is convicted of a crime, drops out of school, changes from full-time to part-time attendance, is expelled, suspended or changes schools. You also should tell us if your child has an employer who is paying for your child to attend school.

In general, a student can keep receiving benefits during a vacation period of four months or less if he or she plans to go back to school full time at the end of the vacation.

If your child is disabled

Your child can continue to receive benefits after age 18 if he or she has a disability that begins before age 22. Your child also may qualify for SSI disability benefits. Contact us for more information.

If you have a stepchild and get divorced

If you have a stepchild who is getting benefits based on your work and you divorce the child's parent, you must tell us as soon as the divorce becomes final. Your stepchild's benefit will stop the month after the divorce becomes final.

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There are 19 Comments

My child has been diagnosed with ADHD, does he qualify for benifits? He is 6 years old and was diagnosed in December of 2007.


My child is deaf, does he qualify for benefits?


My child is 5 years old and has a missing pectoral muscle that prevents him from contact sports and just being a child as far as paying with other children, does he qualify?

yes, i think he does try it and see what happens,

Your child should be able to receive benefits. I have a 3 year old who is autistic I filled in July of 08 and was approved by November 08. It did not take long since I keep a binder with all of my son's evaluations and letters from the doctor. I gave social security copies and they where able to process my claim faster since I was able to give them all of the information and they did not have to wait to receive the necessary evaluations thru my doctor.

I have a sixteen year old that recieve benefits from his father retire benefits and he will be eighteen in two years, will i be able recieve benefits for him. Can recieve benefits also for carding for him

Mother is in a AClf with mental health issues The mother is on SSI. Can I apply for releif for child.

From :

Who can get child's benefits

Your child can get benefits if he or she is your biological child, adopted child or dependent stepchild. (In some cases, your child also could be eligible for benefits on his or her grandparents’ earnings.)

To get 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 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.)

The child may qualify under the parent's disability.

My Child was diagnosed with Autism. He is 4 years old and was diagnosed about 18 months ago. does he qualify for benifits such as social security. and how do you apply.

i have a grand child what i have to do for her benefits

What type of benefits are you seeking? Disability? Survivor?

yes my granddaughter lives with me ! have total custony of her , is she allow to draw off me. had her for long time, she is still in school, I support her totally.

Benefits for children fall into two areas :

  1. Benefits because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired or deceased.
  2. Benefits for disabled children because their parents have little income or resources.

Here is a relevant publication :

my child was disgnose with adhd he takes medication,but the effect of it gives him halluncations what can i do he was suspened from schhol because he took a knife to school..

my 8yrar old son has been dianosed with cancer. if i get married will he still qualifiy for ssi.and medicare since i am only working part time?

I would recommend you contact your local SS office about this.

If your would-be spouse has income, this could reduce your son's ability to obtain SSI benefits.

I had a 3.1 lb son who was born at 31 weeks. Can I get benefits for him? If so, where do I start? And why haven't no one told me about this?

Social Security does provide SSI disability benefits to certain low birth weight infants, whether or not they are premature. A child who weighs less than 1200 grams (about 2 pounds, 10 ounces) at birth can qualify for SSI on the basis of low birth weight, if otherwise eligible. A child who weighs between 1200 and 2000 grams at birth (about 4 pounds 6 ounces) AND who is considered small for his or her gestational age may also qualify.

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration