En español | Q: I'm 62, and my wife is going to have a baby in June this year. Is there a benefit for the baby when I start to take my Social Security payments?
A: Yes, there is. Generally speaking, when people take their Social Security retirement benefits, certain children may also receive benefits on their parents' work record. An eligible child can be a biological child, adopted child or a dependent stepchild. A dependent grandchild also may qualify.
See also: AARP Social Security Calculator
In order to receive benefits, a child must be:
- Younger than age 18
- Between 18 and 19 years old and attending elementary or secondary school full time but no higher than grade 12
- Age 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22)
Each eligible child may receive a monthly payment that's up to half of the parent's retirement benefit amount. If there's more than one eligible child, there may be a limit on the total amount that can be paid to a family. It's usually equal to 150-180 percent of the worker's benefit.
For more information on benefits for children, see Social Security webpages or call Social Security at 800-772-1213.
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? Check out the Social Security Mailbox archive. If you don't find your answer there, send an email to the Social Security Mailbox.
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