Are Social Security Survivor Benefits for Kids Taxable?

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), in 2017, the SSA distributed around $2.6 billion each month to roughly 4.2 million children because one or both of their parents were disabled, retired, or passed away. Those benefits helped provide for the children’s basic necessities and helped them complete high school. When a parent cannot work because they’re disabled or they die, these critical benefits help financially stabilize the family.

Which children are eligible for benefits?

An unmarried child can receive benefits if they are:

  • Under the age of 18;
  • Between 18 and 19 years old and a full-time student in high school;
  • A disabled adult who is 18 or older and their disability started before they turned 22.

Children’s Benefits & Taxes: What You Need to Know

“If my child receives Social Security survivor benefits on their deceased parent’s work record, will my child have to pay taxes?” is a question that most parents ask by tax time when their children are eligible for survivor benefits. For starters, Social Security survivor benefits are not considered taxable income for the parents, even if a parent is a “payee” because their child is a minor.

Secondly, in most cases, children will not have to pay taxes on their survivor benefits mainly because few children earn enough income in a year to owe any taxes. Here are the key takeaways:

  • If your child’s only income for the year is survivor benefits, they won’t be taxed.
  • If your child works, for example, if your teenager has a job, 50 percent of your child’s benefits plus their other income must be $25,000 or more, then your child’s benefits are taxable. However, few children earn enough money in a year for their benefits to be taxed.
  • As a parent or guardian who receives benefits on your child’s behalf, you are not responsible for paying taxes on the survivor benefits.

Have further questions about your child’s survivor benefits and taxes, click here to visit the IRS’s page on the topic. To apply for survivor benefits, reach out to The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today!

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