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Social Security Benefits for Children

Under federal law, certain family members (e.g. children, spouses, and dependent parents) of Social Security taxpayers are qualified to receive benefits.

In the latest government report, about 3.8 million children receive approximately $1.6 billion Social Security benefits every month.

This federal assistance allows them to buy their basic needs, finish high school, and receive healthcare in case they have been disabled or their parents have died.

According to Los Angeles lawyers, there are two types of Social Security benefits that children can receive: the Survivors Benefits and the Disability Insurance.

Survivors Benefits

If a Social Security taxpayer (who worked at least 10 years in the US and contributed enough funds) has died, his surviving children (or their legal guardians) may be eligible to receive Survivors Benefits.

To become eligible for this benefit, children must be 18 years and younger (if attending high school full time, the age maximum age limit is 19 years old) and unmarried. Benefits can be awarded to grandchildren, dependent stepchildren, and adopted children.

Meanwhile, surviving children can receive claims and work at the same time. However, the payment may be reduced if they earn more than a certain amount.

This federal assistance will stop if the children-beneficiaries have reached the age of 19, unless they have a disability that prevents them from working.

Disability Insurance

Children who have been disabled at the age of 22 or younger can collect benefits based on their parents’ work credits. And because disability at a young age means that they are most likely to have no work experience, this is not a requirement unlike in other Social Security claims.

According to lawyers, the children’s benefits will not affect their parents’ monthly Social Security payments.

Unlike in Survivors Benefits, Disability Insurance for children does not stop even if the beneficiaries have reached the age of 19, unless they have recovered from their disability.

The Amount of Children’s Benefits

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) website, a child (within a family) may receive up to half of his parent’s disability benefits or full retirement or 75 percent of these benefits if his parent has died.

The SSA limits the family maximum payment between 150 to 180 percent of the parent’s full benefit amount. In case there is overpayment, the agency will proportionately reduce each member’s benefits until the total family payment will equal the maximum allowable amount.

Other Important Things About Children’s Benefits

  • Children will not receive benefits if their parents are not Social Security taxpayers.

  • Disabled children may be qualified for Medicare.

  • To receive benefits, adult children should not be earning more than $980 every month (2009 requirements). Next year, the earning limit will be $1,000.

  • Children who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may still be eligible to receive disability claims.
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