Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility
If you are approved for Social Security disability benefits and you have a dependent eligible child, your child may also be eligible for benefits based on your earnings record.
Social Security disability is a federal program that provides cash payments to people who meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have worked long enough while paying Social Security taxes to the SSA.
Childrens Benefits And The Earnings Limit
If a child is receiving benefits from Social Security, they are subject to a limit on the amount of earnings they can receive from wages or net earnings from self-employment. These income limits change on an annual basis and listed below is the limit amount for 2023.
It should be noted that your childs earnings affect only their own benefits and not yours or those of any other beneficiaries on your record. For an in-depth view of the Social Security earnings limit, see my article on this subject.
Applying For Child’s Benefits
To apply for benefits for your child, you must call the SSA or go into your local field office. You can find your field office on the SSA’s website by entering your zip code into the field locator. You will need proof that your child is eligible .
If your child is an eligible disabled adult, you can begin the process online by completing an Adult Disability Report. It will speed up the process if you do this as soon as your adult child becomes eligible. Once the report is completed, call the SSA to finish your child’s application.
Even if your child is already getting SSI, he or she may be eligible for benefits based on your earnings records. Call the SSA to see if this option is available. Their phone number is 800-772-1213.
You could be eligible for up to $3,345 per month In SSDI Benefits
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How Much Do Children Receive In Social Security Benefits
A child may receive a Social Security benefit equal to 50% of the parents full retirement benefit or disability benefit. If the parent is deceased, the child is eligible to receive up to 75% of the parents full retirement benefit.
There is a limit to the total amount that a family can receive from Social Security based on one worker’s earnings record, though. The maximum family benefit typically ranges from 150% to 180% of the parent’s full benefit amount. The formula for maximum family benefits is based on a retired parent’s work record. If the parent is disabled, a different formula applies.
I Was Told My Child Support Didn’t Qualify For A Modification Even Though I Am Receiving Social Security
It is important to know the type of Social Security benefits you are receiving – some benefits – such as retirement, disability insurance or survivor benefits are considered income and should be garnished for child support payments. In some cases, your children are also receiving payments from your social security benefits paid by the Social Security Administration. If this is the case, please contact our office so that we can help you with your next steps.
Calculate The Best Time To Start Social Security
If you are confused about when to start, you can use the Social Security Explorer part of the NewRetirement Retirement Planner to compare your monthly income and maximum lifetime payout at different ages.
Or, you might consider the following rules of thumb:
- Take Early: The only people who should consider taking their Social Security early are those who absolutely need the money immediately, or those who do not expect to live for very long, due to illness
- Take at Full Retirement Age: Should you have reason to believe that you will not live past the age of 80, then generally speaking you will maximize your social security benefits if you take them when you reach your Full Retirement Age.
- Wait as Long as Possible: On the other hand, if you are confident that you will live past the age of 80 or 85, then most experts recommend that you defer your social security for as long as you can , so as to maximize the benefits you receive from it.
- Other: If you have dependent children, the additional benefits you receive for them might make filing when you are younger worthwhile.
It can also be a very good idea to have an overall retirement plan before you decide when to start your Social Security benefits. The NewRetirement Retirement Planner can help you assess all of your sources of retirement income and whether or not you will have enough to cover your expenses. This tool was recently named a best retirement calculator by the American Association of Individual Investors .
What Is A Social Security Card
Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. Youll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.
When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.
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How Do You Apply For Ssa Retirement Benefits
You can also apply via phone by calling 800-772-1213. When Social Security Administration offices are open to the public, you can also get help with applying for benefits in your local office.
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How Long Will Your Child Receive Social Security Benefits
Generally, children will receive dependent SSDI benefits until they reach the age of 18 years old. The benefit will end the month before their 18th birthday.
But if your child is a full-time high student, the benefit will end when they graduate from or leave school, or two months after they turn 19, whichever happens first.
If your child is disabled, and became disabled before the age of 22, his or her monthly dependent benefit can continue indefinitely, if you apply for “disabled adult child benefits.”
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How Do You Apply For Social Security Benefits For Your Child
To apply for benefits for your child, call Social Security at 800-772-1213 to set up an appointment. You can’t apply online for children’s benefits.
You will need at least your Social Security number, your child’s Social Security number, and your child’s birth certificate. If your child doesn’t already have a Social Security number, you’ll have to obtain one through Social Security before you can apply for the children’s benefit.
Social Security may request other information as well for example, if you’re trying to obtain benefits for a full-time student who is over the age of 18, you will need to provide proof of enrollment in high school. Or, if your child isn’t a U.S. citizen, you’ll be asked to show evidence that your child is a lawful resident. When meeting with Social Security to apply for these benefits, you will be told if any additional information is necessary.
Correcting Misinformation About Children And Social Security Benefits
Since 1974, the Social Security Administration has been providing Supplemental Security Income benefits to children with disabilities from low-income families. President Nixons Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare testified before Congress to explain the Administrations rationale for providing SSI benefits for children: Disabled children living in low-income households are the most disadvantaged of all Americans and are deserving of special assistance in order to help them become self-supporting members of our society.1
Despite the noble intent of this program, providing SSI benefits for children has become increasingly controversial. This is due, in part, to the significant rise in the number of children receiving benefits over the years. Changes in the eligibility criteria, and the additions of a variety of mental health and behavioral disorders that qualify for disability, have led to an increase in beneficiaries but also an increase in the backlash against the program.
Addressing the Myths
Absolving the Critiques
What NLS Disability Advocacy Program can do for you
After hearing about some of the corrected misinformation behind SSI and children with disabilities and feel like your family or someone you know could benefit from these services, please visit our websites disability resource page here, and click Get Legal Help to request legal assistance. Also, on that page, you can find additional helpful links.
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Social Security Child’s Insurance Payment Schedule
If your child is eligible and can start receiving benefits, the payment schedule will follow yours. Note that you’ll receive the payments separately but on the same day to help differentiate the benefits.
- If you started receiving Social Security benefits before May 1997, or if you receive both Social Security and SSI, their Social Security payment will arrive on the third day of each month.
- If your birthday falls between the 1st and 10th of the month, their payment will be sent out on the second Wednesday of the month.
- If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th of the month, their payment will be sent out on the third Wednesday of the month.
- If your birthday falls between the 21st and 31st of the month, their payment will be sent out on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
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Are My Children Eligible For Benefits
Dependent benefits are available only to eligible children. An eligible child can be your biological child , your adopted child child, or your stepchild. Your grandchild may also be eligible in some circumstances. There are also additional requirements that must be met.
- The child must be unmarried, and
- The child must be either:
- under the age of 18
- 18 to 19 years old and a full-time student , or
- 18 years or older with a disability that began before the child turned 22.
If your eligible child is under the age of 18 , he or she doesn’t need to be disabled to get benefits.
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Were There When They Get Their First Job
Once your child starts working and throughout their career, employers will verify their Social Security number to help reduce fraud and improve the accuracy of their earnings records.
Employers collect FICA, or Federal Insurance Contributions Act withholdings, and report earnings electronically. This is how we verify earnings and is how your child earns Social Security retirement, disability, and survivors coverage.
Once they turn 18, they can open a mySocial Security account and watch their personal earnings and future benefits grow over time.
Who Can Get Child Benefits
For a child to qualify for child benefits from Social Security, he/she must meet certain requirements. First, child benefits are payable to children who are dependent and unmarried. They must be younger than 18 years, or 19 if they are high school students, to qualify for benefits. If a child is 18 or older and is disabled, they may qualify for benefits if the disability started before they turned 22.
For purposes of eligibility for child benefits, a relationship requirement and dependency requirement must be met. To meet the relationship requirement, the child must be a biological child, legally adopted child, stepchild, grandchild, or step-grandchild. To meet the dependency requirement, the child must be dependent on the beneficiary for support at some point in time. Sometimes, the child may be deemed to be dependent on the beneficiary, but there are times when dependency must be proved.
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How Do I Apply For Social Security Benefits For My Child
Unfortunately, you can’t apply for child benefits online. Instead, you can call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office. Make sure you have the following documents on hand.
- Your child’s birth certificate or other proof of birth or adoption.
- Proof of marriage to the child’s natural or adoptive parent, if they are your stepchild.
- Proof of the child’s US citizenship or lawful alien status if the child was not born in the US.
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns if the child had earnings last year.
- If the parent is deceased, you may need proof of the parent’s death.
You’ll have to apply for benefits for your child at the Social Security office or over the phone.
Strategy: Why Filing Early For Retirement Benefits Could Be Best
Unfortunately, you dont get much of a say so as to when you file for survivors benefits or disability benefits. But you DO get to decide when to apply for your retirement benefits. For a household with children, the decision when to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is just more complicated. The penalty for not understanding the rules and the resulting difference in lifetime benefits can be enormous.
In many cases, there are many reasons to delay filing for Social Security benefits. But not all cases are the same! If you have kids at home, and are thinking about filing for Social Security, filing early could make more sense. Why? Your children cannot collect a Social Security benefit until you file.
Consider the difference in lifetime benefit amounts for a couple with the following circumstances.
Roger is 62 and his wife is 46. They have two kids at home, ages 8 & 10. Roger is financially well off enough to stop working and can be flexible on what age he begins to collect Social Security.
If Roger waits until his full retirement age, hell get $2,000 per month. If he files now, hell only get $1,500 per month. He ran the numbers and figured out that if he lived to 90, hed receive an additional $70,000 in benefits for delaying filing until 66 instead of filing at 62.
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How Do You Apply
You can apply online by using our Social Security Retirement/Medicare Benefit Application to apply for retirement, spouses, divorced spouses or Medicare benefits.
If you and your spouse apply online for retirement benefits at the same time, or if your spouse applies online after you start receiving benefits, we will check their eligibility for benefits as a spouse. If they are qualified, the online application will automatically include a request for spousal benefits on your record.
If your spouse applies for benefits, they need to be ready to supply the information we need to approve their application for these benefits:
- Ex-spouses, if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and they have not remarried
- Children under 18, or up to 19 if still enrolled in high school
- Children of any age who were disabled before 22 that is, not earning more than $1,260 per month in 2020, having a medical condition that results in severe functional limitations and that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death
Spouses and ex-spouses must be at least 62 in order to claim benefits, and spouses and children must wait for the worker to begin claiming benefits themselves before they can claim family benefits on their record.
Get Benefit Verification Letter
Get a benefit letter to show that you receive benefits, have submitted an application, or don’t receive benefits.
This documentation is often needed for loan applications, housing assistance, and other processes that require verification of your income. It may be referred to as a “proof of income letter” or “benefit letter” and is personalized based on the status of your Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare coverage.
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Save Time On Social Security Number And Card Online Services
If a person loses their SSN card, they may not need a replacement. In most cases, simply knowing their SSN is enough. If a person does need a replacement card, they may be able to request it online by visiting our Social Security Number and Card page. Individuals can also start an application for an updated card or request an SSN for the first time. People may never need to visit an office and, if they do need to visit an office to complete the application, they will save a lot of time by starting online.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits For Children
SSDI gives monthly cash benefits to those workers or children of workers who have paid enough Social Security taxes to get disability earnings they can use when they are no longer able to work.
Our adult children with disabilities or special health care needs can collect SSDI benefits in two ways. The first is when your child gets benefits based on their employment record if they are approved for these benefits. The second is by collecting childs benefits, which is when an adult child gets benefits through their parents Social Security retirement and disability earnings. While both ways can give your child financial help, each has different.
In either case, once your child has been receiving SSDI benefits for 24 months, they can get Medicare health insurance too.
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