Social Security Benefits for Children

There are Social Security benefits for children and they are offered in several ways. A common misconception is that children only qualify for Social Security if they are disabled or if their parents die. However, this is not always true. The Social Security Administration has programs that also allow children to collect benefits if their parents receive Social Security retirement benefits.

Children or adults wanting to collect Social Security benefits for kids need to meet some specific criteria. Typically, this concerns to how old the children are, whether they are in school and their marriage status. Understanding these eligibility factors may make it easier for your children to qualify for Social Security benefits.

Social Security Eligibility for Children

Social Security benefits for dependent children are available to those who meet certain requirements. These eligibility requirements include:

  • Unmarried children who are younger than 18 years of age.
  • Unmarried children who are between 18 and 19 years of age and who are full-time students, who have not yet completed grade 12.

Additionally, at least one of the child’s parents must be currently collecting Social Security retirement benefits.

Are children’s Social Security benefits taxable?

Depending on how much children earn, Social Security benefits for dependent children may be taxable. Workers earning over a threshold amount are require to file taxes annually. Tax filers must report any supplemental earnings they receive, including Social Security benefits. Thus, children who earn enough to file taxes need to claim their Social Security funds when they file. It is possible that they must pay taxes on those earnings.

Can my family qualify for retroactive Social Security benefits for children?

If you have a qualifying child and already receive benefits through Social Security, you may receive dependent benefits. It is difficult to obtain benefits retroactively if for instance, you received them, but did not receive them on behalf of your dependents. You will need to file a claim with the Social Security Administration if you want to attempt to get those benefits. Speaking with someone in your local Social Security office is usually the best bet.

How much Social Security benefits for children is available?

The amount of Social Security that children whose parents are retired might collect is variable. The funds that children are eligible for are based on how much their parents receive in Social Security benefits. That said, children whose parents receive Social Security retirement benefits may be eligible to collect half of the amount their parents receive.