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When do father's or mother's insurance benefits end?

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

420. When do father's or mother's insurance benefits end?

Your father's or mother's insurance benefits end if any of the conditions below are met:

  1. There are no children of the deceased worker under age 16 or disabled (as defined in §324) who are entitled to a child's insurance benefit;

  2. If you are a surviving divorced father or mother, you have no natural or legally adopted child under age 16 or disabled who is entitled to a child's insurance benefit on the deceased worker's earnings record;

  3. You become entitled to a widow(er)'s insurance benefit (see §§401-402);

  4. You die;

  5. You become entitled to retirement insurance benefits in an amount equal to or greater than three-fourths (.75) of the spouse's primary insurance amount;

  6. You marry; or

    Note: If you marry a person entitled to retirement, disability, divorced spouse's, widow(er)'s, father's, mother's, parent's, or childhood disability benefits, see §1852. If the subsequent marriage ends, you may be re-entitled (see §417).

  7. For benefits payable before January 1991:

    1. You were qualified for benefits only under the conditions explained in §402 (B); and

    2. Your monthly benefits are awarded on the same earnings record to another individual who either:

      1. Is validly married to the worker; or

      2. Has the same status under State law with respect to the taking of intestate personal property as would a widow(er).

You are not entitled to father's or mother's insurance benefits for the month in which any of the terminating events above occur.

Last Revised: Feb. 4, 2008

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There are 4 Comments

my son was getting my husbands social sercurity because he was disabled, my son passed away, does my husbands social sercurity checks be the same or different

I am on SSDI perm disability, a single Mother (never married), my Daghter will be 14 in December. When will her benefits end? Are there any exceptions? Will this income end even if she goes to College and lives with me?

When you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

To receive benefits, the child must be unmarried and be:

  • under age 18; or
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or
  • 18 or older and have a disability that started before age 22.

Normally, benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.

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