Alert
Close

Help Decide the Future of Aging. Join the White House’s Live Stream From Cleveland Monday. Learn more

Highlights

Open

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation
Happy African American couple
Life at 50+ - Register for the Digital Experience
AARP Auto Buying Program

Most Popular
ARTICLES

Viewed

Free Fun!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Work
PROGRAMS

Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Employer Resource Center

Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

Social Security Mailbox

Do Young Children Get Benefits?

Some do, when a parent retires. Here are the qualifications.

Q. I have been told that when I apply for Social Security benefits, my young children also can receive benefits on my work record. Is that true?

A. Yes, it is true. When you start receiving your retirement benefits, your unmarried children can receive benefits on your record if they meet certain criteria, which I have listed below.

See also: Social Security helps children and the disabled.

Children who are eligible include your biological children, adopted children and stepchildren.

A child can receive a monthly payment up to one-half of your full retirement amount. However, Social Security has a limit on the total amount of money that can be paid to you and your family. The limit varies with each family but it is generally equal to about 150 to 180 percent of your retirement benefit.

To receive benefits, your unmarried child must be one of the following:

  • Younger than 18 years of age.
  • Between 18 and 19 years of age, but a student in elementary or secondary school full time.
  • A full-time student but no higher than grade 12.
  • Age 18 or older and severely disabled. The disability must have started before age 22.

To apply for retirement and children's benefits, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

For more information, see: "Eligibility of Children to Receive Benefits When a Parent Retires."

You may also like: Early retirement and spousal benefits. >>

Stan Hinden, a former columnist for the Washington Post, wrote How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire. Have a question for the Social Security Mailbox? Check out the archive. If you don't find your answer there, send a query.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

UPS Store membership discount aarp benefits

Members save 15% on eligible products/services, 5% on UPS shipping at The UPS Store®.

membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can find discounts on the go via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.