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Can a child be re-entitled to benefits?

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

341. Can a child be re-entitled to benefits?

A child whose entitlement ended at age 18 or later may be re-entitled upon filing an application if:

  1. He or she became and remains under a disability which began before age 22; or

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

  3. He or she was entitled to childhood disability benefits and becomes disabled again within seven years after the prior entitlement to those benefits ended. Effective for benefits payable for months beginning October 2004, a child may be reentitled to childhood benefits at any time if the child's previous entitlement had ended because disability ceased due to the performance of substantial gainful activity. The seven-year restriction continues to apply if childhood disability benefits ended because of medical improvement.

In addition to the above requirements, the child must not have married since last entitled to benefits, unless the marriage was void or annulled. Re-entitlement is not possible after a marriage that ended by death or divorce.

Last Revised: Apr. 28, 2005

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