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Social Security Benefits for Children

08.08.17 written by

Each month, over a billion dollars, is paid to children because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. These payments are used to provide those children with income to pay for their expenses in order to assist them in completing high school. These benefits can also assist the child with day-to-day living expenses.

A child (biological, adopted, or dependent stepchild) can obtain Social Security benefits if the child has a parent who: (1) is disabled or retired and entitled to Social Security benefits; or (2) a parent who has died after having worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes to qualify. In addition, the child must be unmarried, under 18, 18 to 19 if a full-time student, or 18 or older if disabled. Most people are aware of the benefits for the child of a disabled parent. However, benefits for a child of a retiree is sometimes overlooked.

If you have any of these types of situations, then the guardian or responsible adult for the child will need to contact their local Social Security office and bring with them the child’s birth certificate and the parent’s and child’s Social Security Numbers in order to apply for Social Security benefits. If a parent has died, then you will also need to provide proof of the parent’s death, such as a death certificate. If you are applying because of a disabled child, then you will need to provide medical evidence of the child’s disability.

A child may be able to receive up to one-half of the parent’s full retirement or disability benefit, or 75% of the deceased parent’s basic Social Security benefit. However, a limit exists on the amount of money that can be paid to a family, and each person’s situation is different and will need to be calculated by the Social Security office. Normally the funds are paid to the child’s representative payee who is then responsible for accounting for the payments to the Social Security office. This accounting is usually done annually.

The local Social Security Administration office is located at 1260 Monroe Street, N.W., New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663, and the telephone number is 866-731-4236. Therefore, if you have this type of situation, please contact your local office to schedule a meeting to obtain more information and to begin the process to determine whether or not the child may be entitled to a Social Security benefit.

NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.

James F. Contini II, Esq.
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning,
Trust & Probate Law by the OSBA
Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., LPA
158 North Broadway
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
Phone: 330-364-3472
Fax:  330-602-3187