A family can run into emotional and financial difficulties if a primary income earner becomes disabled or unexpectedly passes away. These extremely unfortunate circumstances can have a negative impact on your child or children. Many children are eligible to receive benefits to help provide for the necessities of life.  Millions of children receive benefits from the $2.6 billion Social Security Distributes each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased.

Biological children, adopted children, or dependent stepchildren, may be eligible to collect benefits. A two-part test is employed to see if a child is eligible.


In order to obtain benefits, the child must:

  • Have a parent who’s disabled or retired and entitled to social security benefits; or
  • Have a parent who died after having worked long enough where they paid social security taxes.


Additionally, the child must be:

  • Unmarried;
  • Younger than 18;
  • Eighteen (18) or Nineteen (19) years old and a full time student (no higher than grade 12); or
  • Eighteen or older and disabled. ( The disability must have started before age 22)

(Note**: Disabled children whose parents have little income or resources may be eligible for Supplemental Social Security Income Benefits**). Applying for the above mentioned benefits requires providing the necessary documentation. At a minimum, you will need the child’s birth certificate, the child’s social security number, and the parent’s social security number. Other documentation will most likely need to be provided depending on the benefits sought. For questions regarding eligibility for benefits, you should contact an experienced attorney.

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