When people think of Social Security beneficiaries, they think of elderly and disabled individuals. Not too often does a young child pop into mind. However, according to the Social Security Administration, approximately 4.4 million children receive Social Security benefits each year. These children receive benefits because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. If you are interested in applying for Social Security benefits for children, reach out to the team at The Comerford Law Office, LLC to speak with an attorney regarding the eligibility requirements you and your family must meet in order to have your claim approved.
Eligibility Requirements for Child Social Security Beneficiaries
In order for your child to qualify for Social Security benefits under you, he or she must be your biological child, adopted child, stepchild, or dependent grandchild. They must also meet the following eligibility requirements:
- They must be under the age of 18;
- They must be unmarried;
- They may be between 18 and 19 years old if they are a full time student, and no higher than grade 12; and/or
- They can be 18 or older if they are disabled, and if that disability started before the age of 22.
Unless the child is disabled, normal benefits will stop when the child reaches the age of 18 or, if the child is still at a secondary (or elementary) school at the age of 18, when the child graduates or after two months after the child turns 19, whichever comes first.
If your child does receive Social Security benefits under you, it will not decrease the amount of retirement benefits you stand to receive. In fact, many older and/or disabled parents find it more advantageous to take their benefits earlier when they have younger children to support.
Amount of Benefits Your Child May Receive
Each qualified child may receive up to one half of your full retirement benefit amount. With that in mind, your family as a whole is limited to the amount of benefits it can receive. While this amount varies on a case-by-case basis, the general consensus is that no family shall receive more than 150 to 180 percent of the main beneficiary’s full retirement benefit.
The amount changes again if your child works. If your child holds a job, the same earnings guidelines apply to them as apply to you.
Retain the Help of a Chicago Social Security Lawyer
Applying for Social Security benefits is, in general, a difficult and time-consuming process. However, when you attempt to apply for children’s benefits, it becomes even more so. This is because children are not the prime or even intended demographic for social security benefits. When you apply for benefits for your child, you may get denied. If you do, reach out to Social Security attorney James R. Comerford at The Comerford Law Office, LLC in Chicago. We understand how the SSA thinks and operates, and can help you successfully obtain the benefits you need to raise your family. To learn more, call 312-863-8572 to schedule your free consultation today.