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Who is entitled to child's insurance benefits?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at


323. Who is entitled to child's insurance benefits?

A child is entitled to child's insurance benefits on the Social Security record of a parent if the following conditions are met:

  1. An application for child's insurance benefits is filed;

  2. The child is (or was) dependent upon the parent (see §§333-337);

  3. The child is not married;

  4. The child meets any of the following conditions:

    1. Is under age 18;

    2. Is age 18-19 and a full-time elementary or secondary school student; or

    3. Is age 18 or older and under a disability (which must have begun before age 22) (see §517); and

  5. The parent meets any of the following conditions:

    1. Is entitled to disability insurance benefits;

    2. Is entitled to retirement insurance benefits;

    3. Died and was either fully or currently insured at the time of death.

Last Revised: Feb. 6, 2003

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There are 9 Comments

I qualify for Social Security Disability. I also have a 8 year old child.

The SS office has informed me that the auxiliary benefit my child gets MUST be directly deposited into a bank account with her name on it preventing me from withdrawing from that account through online banking.

I will have to go to the bank in person to make withdraws from that account? Why can't the SSA deposit the money into the same account that they are for my benefits? Seems rather silly.

It's not clear, but it sounds as if you're the representative payee for the benefits received by your child. The law requires most minor children to have representative payees.

As far as how funds are held for beneficiaries, Social Security has guidelines regarding title of accounts etc. To protect the beneficiary's funds, the checking or savings accounts title must reflect the beneficiary's ownership of the funds and your relationship as a fiduciary (financial agent).

So suggested titling for the accounts includes :

- "(Beneficiary’s name) by (your name), representative payee."

- "(Your name), representative payee for (beneficiary's name)."

What do I need to activate the social security benefits of a minor's deceased parent? What paperwork do I need to have with me upon filing for these benefits on the child's behalf?

Please see the following to sign the surviving child up for survivor benefits. Basically, you should bring documentation regarding the decedent and the survivor to your local Social Security office.

Regarding medical insurance for the surviving child, I am unaware of any Social Security program that provides health insurance for surviving children. I imagine if family income is limited, the child may qualify for Medicaid, which is largely administered on the state level.

i got a letter in the mail stating my child supoport case is going to be closed because he is now receiving disability. Does this intitle her to any benifits? Also what o I need to to do apply if she is to reveive something. From the infromation I have read it looks like she is entilted to benifts. Thank you.

Please contact Social Security directly as your child may well qualify for benefits based on the father's work record.

A worker's unmarried child, including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild or grandchild may qualify for benefits based on a worker's disability benefit. The child must be younger than age 18 or younger than 19 if in elementary or secondary school full time.

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