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When do child's insurance benefits end?

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


414. When do child's insurance benefits end?

Surviving child's insurance benefits end when any of the conditions below are met:

  1. The child dies;

  2. The child reaches age 18 and is neither under a disability nor a full-time elementary or secondary school student;

    Note: Entitlement to childhood disability benefits ends when the child age 18 or older is no longer under a disability that began before age 22. However, benefits may continue if the child is still under age 19 and a full-time elementary or secondary school 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.)

  3. The child marries;

    Note: For exceptions: see §1852 if a disabled child age 18 or over marries another Social Security beneficiary; see §1853 if the marriage is absolutely void or has been annulled from the beginning.

  4. The child's entitlement is based on a legal adoption and the adoption is annulled; or

  5. The child is a stepchild of the worker, and the marriage between the worker and the stepchild's parent ends in divorce.

The effective date of the termination of benefits is the month in which any of the above events occurs. However, a disabled child's benefits terminate effective with the second month following the month in which he or she is no longer under a disability. Also, a stepchild's benefits terminate effective with the month after the divorce becomes final.

(See §341 for reentitlement conditions.)

Last Revised: Jan. 29, 2003

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There are 13 Comments

I have two sons whose father died and they now receive death benefits on his social security, however, one is turning 18 this month and will no longer receive a check. My question is will the other son recieve the total of both checks til he's 18 or will we lose the other half all together? My local SS office told me that the amount the oldest was getting will roll over to the other so the benefits my husband earned are not reduced it just simply rolls over and the son under age receives the total. I'm confused please can someone set me straight on this?

This is from the publication Benefits for Children

Within a family, a child may receive up to one-half of the parent’s full retirement or disability benefit, or 75 percent of the deceased parent’s basic Social Security benefit. However, there is a limit to the amount of money that can be paid to a family. The family maximum payment is determined as part of every Social Security benefit computation and can be from 150 to 180 percent of the parent’s full benefit amount.

I should have been more clear. My son's father and I were divorced when he died and I receive no benefits at all. Just the two boys . Each child received 1600.00 a piece. my question is now that one is 18 will the younger child receive 3200.00 since that was his dad's SS amount or will he only get half of the 3200.00. I'm raising them alone and this will make a huge difference in our household if it is only 1600.00. Sometimes I'm slow to understand things and need things spelled out in more detail. Thank you-concerned mother

I need to get proof of my sons rsdi and disability could you help me find the right link?

I'm not sure what you're looking for, but here is a link to request a Proof of Income Letter :

The letter can be used as proof of your:

  • income when you apply for a loan or mortgage;
  • income for assisted housing or other state or local benefits;
  • current Medicare health insurance coverage;
  • retirement status;
  • disability; and/or
  • age.

You can select the information you would like on it.

my child has been physically and mentally disabled since birth. she receives ssi and medicaid. but when my husband seeks employment her benefits get cut out. just because he works does not not mean she is not disabled. yes he can put her on his insurance but copays are higher and medicad for a child has no co pay. this makes it more difficult financially. this does not seem fair to my child or our family. why is this the rules for families that have to depend on the government for help? the jobs that are available don't pay much as it is. so why does my child have to loose her benefits and medicad when that is suppose to be her source of income to help her? and by the way my husband has worked for 20 years so should'nt my child receive regular disability?
she will not ever be able to care for herself or live on her own. and i just think she deserves more than cut benefits. don't you?

My 17 year old step-daughter receives benefits from her mother's death. She is planning to marry Dec. 31st, 2010, just a few weeks after her 18th birthday on Dec. 9th. We know that once she marries, the benefits will stop. My question is this, will she be entitled to keep her December benefits or will she forfeit them due to her wedding date?

A child who is 17 was thrown out of her house by her mother. The child should have been receiving her deceased dad's Social Security all along - now that she is no longer with her mother...when she asks her mother for money, her mother says she can't have it. The mother is spending it herself and not giving it to the child. What can be done in this case.

We are raising our grandson and he will be 18 but still in school until next june will his benefits stop at the age or when he is out of school and he has applied for colleges and no response as of yet, When he gets in school can he apply again for help as long as hes in school or what happens cause he has lost both parents and we have had him since 1998. If u could let me know what he needs to do i would so appreciate it thank you very much

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