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The Unique Issues Related to Children and Social Security Benefits

November 18, 2016 Blog

Applying for and receiving appropriate Social Security benefits can be a complicated and difficult process. An experienced Social Security attorney can help you navigate the Social Security Administration (SSA) working to ensure you get all benefits you are entitled to.

According to the SSA “about 4.3 million children receive benefits from the nearly $2.6 billion Social Security distributes each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased.” However, there are unique issues that children deal with when it comes to Social Security. Here we will discuss some of the major issues but if you have any questions contact one of the Tampa SSD attorneys at Mike Murburg, P.A.

Can Children Get Social Security Benefits?

Yes. Children are eligible for Social Security benefits. To be eligible for benefits the 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.

The child must also be:

  • Unmarried,
  • Younger than age 18,
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (not higher than grade 12), or
  • 18 or older and disabled. (The disability must have started before age 22.)

When you apply for benefits for your child, you’ll need the following:

  • The child’s birth certificate, and
  • Both the parent’s and child’s Social Security numbers.

You may also need to provide other documents, such as proof of a parent’s death, depending on the type of benefit the child is applying for.

If you need help, contact us today and we can work with you to ensure that you have all appropriate documentation when applying for benefits.

Can Children With Disabilities Get Social Security Benefits?

Yes. The SSA allows for a child age 18 or older with a disability to get Social Security benefits when a parent gets retirement or disability benefits. The child also can get benefits if a parent dies. However, the child’s disability must have begun before the age of 22.

Remember that if you’re applying for benefits for a disabled child, you’ll need to furnish medical evidence to prove the child’s disability. These documents should be prepared by an experienced and licensed medical professional. If you have any questions about the preparation of these documents, contact us so we can help.

If you are a parent who is receiving benefits because you have a child in your care, the date your benefits stop can be different than the child’s. If your child is disabled (either mentally or physically), and you continue to exercise parental control, the benefits will continue after the child reaches the age of majority.

Is There a Limit to the Amount of Monthly Benefits My Family Can Get on a Parent’s Record?

The SSA has prepared a Formula for Family Maximum Benefit that illustrates the amount of benefits that a family can get. The benefits are calculated on a case-by-case basis. The SSA gave the following example:

For the family of a worker who becomes age 62 or dies in 2017 before attaining age 62, the total amount of benefits payable will be computed so that it does not exceed:

  1. 150 percent of the first $1,131 of the worker’s Primarily Insurance Amount (PIA), plus
  2. 272 percent of the worker’s PIA over $1,131 through $1,633, plus
  3. 134 percent of the worker’s PIA over $1,633 through $2,130, plus
  4. 175 percent of the worker’s PIA over $2,130.

The SSA then rounds this total amount to the next lower multiple of $.10 if it is not already a multiple of $.10.

These calculations can quickly become very complicated. If you have any questions get us involved and we will work to make sure you get all the benefits you and your family are entitled to.

Where Can I Get More Information About Children and Social Security Benefits?

The SSA provides many resources to the public about available benefits. Visit their SSA Frequently Asked Questions page for further discussions about available benefits to children.

To discuss your specific questions, contact one of the Tampa SSD attorneys at Mike Murburg, P.A. for immediate help. We have the experience and dedication to help secure all the Social Security benefits to which you are entitled.