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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 ssa.gov.

0414

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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