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AARP's Social Security Q&A Tool

Can children who have collected survivor benefits during their grade school years continue to receive the money while in college?

En español | Generally, no. There was a time when Social Security did pay benefits to college students, but the law changed in 1981.

Currently, Social Security pays benefits only to students attending classes at grade 12 and below. Generally, benefits stop when a student reaches 18, unless the student is disabled or is still attending a secondary school — Grade 12 or below — on a full-time basis. For a child who is still in school, benefits can continue until he or she graduates or until two months after the 19th birthday, whichever comes first.

For more information, read "Benefits While in College."

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