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Social Security Benefits for Children

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Social Security Benefits for Children

Social Security Benefits for Children by Daniel Burns{2:36 minutes to read} After years of trying to stay together, John and Mary decided to end their marriage. They had 2 children, and the agreement that they reached in mediation required John to pay child support to Mary until each of the children were emancipated.

During one of the mediation sessions, Mary expressed concern about how she would be able to take care of the children if John died or became disabled before they were grown.

While most couples could address this concern with life or disability insurance, John had a medical condition that prevented him from obtaining either type of coverage at a cost that he could afford.

So how would the needs of their children be met if he died or became disabled before they were emancipated? The answer was Social Security!

Under certain circumstances, a child can obtain Social Security benefits if his or her parent:

  • Is disabled or retired and entitled to Social Security benefits; or
  • Has died after having worked long enough in a job where he or she paid Social Security taxes.

In addition, the child must be:

  • Unmarried;
  • Younger than age 18*; or
  • 18 or older and disabled.

* Payments are extended until age 19 as long the child is still in high school full time

Right now, over 4 million children receive Social Security benefits because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired or deceased. While it is much better to have life and disability insurance, especially if you expect your children to attend college and, therefore, have financial needs beyond high school, Social Security does provide a safety net for a child whose parent has died or become disabled, and who is not able to obtain life or disability insurance.

For more information about these benefits, or to obtain copies of the various publications that provide additional information, visit or call 1-800-772-1213.

If you have any other thoughts on how this issue can be addressed or have encountered a similar situation, please leave a comment below.

Daniel R. Burns

Attorney & Mediator
1187 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 529-5200

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2017-01-30T11:33:44+00:00 By |Children & Divorce, Dan Burns|

One Comment

  1. Mitch February 3, 2016 at 10:01 am

    You and your daughter’s articles are so good I hope you are writing a book!

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