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AARP's Social Security Q&A Tool

Can my children get Social Security benefits based on my work record?

En español | When you qualify for Social Security retirement or disability benefits, your unmarried children may also qualify for benefits. An eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child or stepchild. A dependent grandchild also may qualify. To receive benefits, the child must be younger than 18; or between 18 and 19 and in school full-time but no higher than Grade 12; or 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22). Each eligible child may receive a monthly payment of up to one-half of your benefit amount. However, there is a limit on the total amount that can be paid to you and your family — sometimes called the family maximum. The limit is generally equal to 150 to 180 percent of your benefit.

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