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Termination of Child's Insurance Benefits

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

340. Termination of Child's Insurance Benefits

340.1 When do child's insurance benefit payments end?

A child's insurance benefit payments end when:

  1. The child dies; or

  2. The child reaches age 18 and is neither disabled nor a full-time student (For a situation where a student may continue to be entitled to child's benefits, even though he or she has reached age 19, see §342); or

  3. The child marries (however, if the child is a childhood disability beneficiary and the marriage is to another Social Security beneficiary, see §1852. If the marriage is either void or subsequently annulled, see §1853); or

  4. The child's parent is no longer entitled to disability insurance benefits, unless the entitlement ended because the insured parent became entitled to retirement insurance benefits or died.

The beneficiary is not entitled to child's insurance benefits for the month in which any of the above events occur. However, in the case of a disabled child, the child's benefits end with the second month following the month in which he or she is no longer disabled.

340.2 Do benefits of an adopted child end if the adoption is annulled?

If a child is entitled to a child's benefit based on a legal adoption, the benefit ends if the adoption is annulled. The effective date of the terminations of benefits is the month in which the annulment becomes effective.

340.3 Do benefits of a stepchild end in the case of a divorce?

A stepchild's benefits end if the marriage between the worker and the stepchild's parent ends in a divorce. The effective date of the termination of benefits is the month after the divorce becomes final.

Last Revised: Jul. 1, 2004

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There are 9 Comments

My current husband is getting disability and my son which would be a step child to him is getting benefits from his disability. I am also paying child support for this child with the money from the disability not even being counted as child support. I feel this is unfair. I have tried to get the benefits stopped so the money can help my husband's other children. And no one will even listen to help me in this matter.

Please contact Social Security directly concerning this as we are not affiliated with the SSA.

The situation you describe sounds odd as your husband's natural children should qualify for benefits on his work record as long as they are adults.

There is a notion of a "family maximum" for benefits. Essentially, as the number of children increase, the benefits for each additional child taper off. This may be at play in your case. Still, your husband's children should qualify and be part of the benefit package.

Finally, a stepchild can receive Social Security benefits on a stepparent's earnings record only if the child depends on the stepparent for at least one-half of his or her financial support. The law also requires that the stepchild's benefits end if the stepparent becomes divorced from the child's parent after June 30,1996.

How are the SSDI benefits computed for a disabled adult child of retired parents who are both collecting their own social security individually? Can the disabled adult receive a benefit based on each parent's benefit? or Is the disabled adult child limited to only receiving a benefit from one of the parent's benefits?

My daughters dad died in july 2009 . She is 15 . I have met a wonderful man and she wants to have him adopt her and take his last name when I do . Will her survivors benefits end if we do this / Its important as we are saving that for her for college .

When a disabled adult child who is drawing ssdi off his dad gets married to a person who is on ssdi drawing off her own earnings, will that effect their benefits? If so why?

My vindictive ex wife called my disability and told them something untrue and they suspended my sons monthly disability income. I have an appointment with them om the 14th of this month however if I can get up the gas money I'm going to drive to my jurisdiction office. She threatend to ruin me she has already called dcf twice in a month they are closing both cases out. The last dcf worker that came to see me and my son is the one that notified me that she bragged to her about having my sons disability cut off. She has all my info(my ex) from snooping in my locked safe she magically unlocked.

Anyhow disability wouldn't discuss anything over the phone with me they said I had to visit my jurisdiction office which is one and a half hours away from where i live. Can anyone help me that may possible know what kinda of a lie may have caused them to do this temporarly. I know that it will be reinstated once I talk with them. By the way the dcf worker advised me that one more time of her false reportn me they will prosecute her.

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration