Social Security for Children: How to Get Benefits

Social Security isn't just for adults. Find out how children can get benefits.

Dan Caplinger
Dan Caplinger
Jul 3, 2014 at 2:15PM
Investment Planning

Source: Social Security Administration.

Social Security is usually for people who are retired or suffering from a disability. But under certain circumstances, children can be entitled to Social Security benefits as well. But you have to understand the rules that apply to children's benefits under Social Security.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, talks about the requirements for children to get Social Security benefits. First, Dan notes that a child must generally be unmarried and under the age of 18 to be eligible for benefits. But there are exceptions for high-school students who are age 18 or 19, and older disabled children can also remain entitled to Social Security benefits as well. Dan also points out that children can be eligible for half of a parent's retirement or disability benefit during the parent's lifetime, or 75% after the parent dies. But there's a family maximum for Social Security benefits that can kick in to limit children's benefits, with families with multiple children often seeing benefits reduced substantially.