If a worker dies and he or she leaves behind children, their surviving children may be entitled to what’s called “child’s insurance benefits.” In order for such a child to be eligible for child’s insurance benefits, the following must be true:
- The child must be under the age of 18, or
- The child must be under 19, but a full-time elementary or high school student, or
- The child must be 18 or older, but have a disability covered under Sec. 507.1, which started before the child turned 22, or
- The child was depending on the decedent, and
- The child is single (not married).
Does a child have to be the deceased parent’s biological child to qualify for child’s insurance benefits? What if the child was adopted or a stepchild? According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a “child” includes:
- A biological child.
- A stepchild (under specific circumstances).
- A child that is adopted legally.
- A child born to parents who entered an invalid ceremonial marriage.
- A natural child, as long as the deceased parent acknowledged in writing that the child was his or her son or daughter, or paternity was established in a court case, or a court ordered the deceased parent to pay child support, or it can be proven that the deceased worker was the child’s mother or father. However, the deceased worker must have lived with the child or was helping support the child when he or she passed away.
When Do Child’s Insurance Benefits End?
Surviving child’s insurance benefits terminate when the child dies, or when the child turns 18 and he or she is not a full-time elementary or high school student, or when the child marries. To learn when a child’s insurance benefit is NOT payable, click here.
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