If You Are Young and Lose a Parent

Social Security is here for young people when a parent passes away. We know that the loss of a parent isn’t just emotionally painful; it can be devastating to a family’s finances. In the same way that Social Security helps to lift up the disabled and elderly when they need it, we support families when an income-earning parent dies.

In 2017, we distributed an average of $2.6 billion each month to benefit about 4.2 million children because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. Those dollars help to provide the necessities of life and help make it possible for those children to complete high school.

You might ask, who can get child’s benefits? Your unmarried child can get benefits if they’re:

  • Younger than age 18;
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or
  • 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22.

To get benefits, a child must have:

  • A parent who’s disabled or retired and entitled to Social Security benefits; or
  • A parent who died after having worked long enough in a job where they paid Social Security taxes.

Benefits stop when your child reaches age 18 unless your child is a student or disabled.

Within a family, a child can receive up to half of the parent’s full retirement or disability benefit. If a child receives Survivors benefits, he or she can get up to 75 percent of the deceased parent’s basic Social Security benefit.

There is a limit to the amount of money that we can pay to a family. This family maximum is determined as part of every Social Security benefit computation. It can be from 150 to 180 percent of the parent’s full benefit amount. If the total amount payable to all family members exceeds this limit, we reduce each person’s benefit proportionately (except the parent’s) until the total equals the maximum allowable amount.

Children with disabilities may also be eligible for benefits. You can read more about Benefits for Children with Disabilities.

Social Security is securing today and tomorrow, protecting our future and the next generation.


208 thoughts on “If You Are Young and Lose a Parent

  1. Please be advised it’s necessary for ssa to look at all social security AWARDS IN 2001 TO SEE EXACTLY How much money was stolen from my 3 minor children whose correct awards were 1200.00 each child.. And my awarded sum of 1300 was never paid per every Maryland ssa office.. My children illegally lost all money from deceased biological father when an illegal payment fraud theft scam began on December 2001 by ssa managers in Chambersburg PA and it wasn’t until I proved how why the scam began to pay 3 unentitled Fraudie who lied to collect survivor payments with much money missing unpaid and then listed as. unclaimed unpaid and returned to ssa Maryland yearly by getting the real ssa accounting ledgers from ssa Glen Burnie Maryland did I understand why ssa PA Chambersburg kept saying my husband had another wife named Pamela at another address in PA which can easily be disputed… I gave ssa the original marriage license from hagerstown Maryland which had a mistake in bill Kimmell birth year.. He was born on 2 2 1957 not 2 2 1955…no one believed that mistake needed to ever be corrected… And I proved to ssa my dead husband always resided in my home with my 3 minor sons and I but why the fuck did ssa Chambersburg pay the wrong woman using a fake photo driver license.. Maryland offices concluded insider fraud did to wit occur and it was never any mistake… It was proven fraud per a female judge in PA and per 5 other agencies ssa offices and IRS… So why didn’t I collect my award?? Why did my 3 kids loose money?? They dropped from 1200 to 726. I dropped from 1300 to only 215…thats criminal… Ssa cannot switch records to pay lowest record after death… My 3 kids were never to collect from my disability record per 3 lawyers.. So why the fuck did ssa PA allow other people to Robb my kids and I and lied to me across 19 years… I found the evidence very easily.. Only an idiot would miss the evidence printed from 3 banks and ssa accounting ledgers and ssa payments and yearly incorrect child benefit forms and my ss 1099 forms showing double money we never got paid.. That scam was easy to commit… And it’s real. Ssa Chambersburg was run by common criminals per 2 lawyers who proved the same scams to Robb widows and kids had been on going across many years…. I want my money… And Pamela Kimmell lived at 1977 Strathmore place
    …. Perkungie PA. And she’s using a fake photo driver. License. Younger than me and is a retired wealthy investor per merchant and trust bank and Delaware trust bank James Roland Phelps age 91 had his stolen 990.00 a month direct deposit to bank of America in Linthicum Maryland 21080 where he lived at 5909 Linthicum lane in Linthicum Maryland 21090 evidence cannot be dismissed by ssa. March April 2002 my kids lost all their survivor awards and 3 other criminals collected my damn money for. Me and my 3 sons. That is true crimes.. Easy to prove too… Pamela Phelps Kimmell at 2143 B WOOD STREET IN LATROBE PA 15650

  2. My daughter in law died leaving her husband and three children ages 18(in college), 17 and 14. how do we apply
    for the dependents benefits

    • We are very sorry for your loss, Jeanette. The children may be eligible for survivor benefits if their mother earned enough Social Security credits through her work. Unmarried children who are under 18 (up to age 19 if attending elementary or secondary school full time) can be eligible to receive Social Security benefits when a parent dies.

      To inquire about potential benefits, he can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or contact his local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

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