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Social Security Benefits for Children - Stan Hinden Social Security Ma... Skip to content

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Can My Child Get Social Security?

Benefits may be available for younger kids of older parents

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

Father and children on couch, Social Security benefits for children

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When parents take their Social Security retirement benefits, certain children may also be eligible to receive benefits.

In order to receive benefits, a child must be:

  • Unmarried
  • 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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