Can a child get Social Security benefits if a parent dies?

Can a child get Social Security benefits if their mother or father dies?

Children can be entitled to receive Social Security child’s benefits if the deceased parent was fully insured by Social Security and if they meet 5 tests:

  1. The child is the insured person’s child. See §§404.355 through 404.359;
  2. The child is dependent on the insured. See §§404.360 through 404.365;
  3. The child applies for benefits;
  4. The child is unmarried; and
  5. The child is under age 18; – OR – 18 years old or older and has a disability that began before the child became 22 years old; – OR – the child is 18 years or older and qualifies for benefits as a full-time student in a primary or secondary school as described in §404.367.

See 20 CFR 404.350 for more information.

Updated 04/30/09.

Published by

Tomasz Stasiuk

Disability and Estate Planning Attorney - Visit me at

  • Dave

    If a child is 18 and a full time student, to what age is the child eligible to receive benefits? I am a teacher, and I have many 19-21 year old kids trying to finish high school here in Texas. Are survivor benefits for a child cut off at age 19, 20 or 21? Even if they are still in school?

    • Msdonnakick

      Until age 18 or graduates.

  • Dave

    If a child is 18 and a full time student, to what age is the child eligible to receive benefits? I am a teacher, and I have many 19-21 year old kids trying to finish high school here in Texas. Are survivor benefits for a child cut off at age 19, 20 or 21? Even if they are still in school?

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  • CJONES0318

    My daugher was receiving SSI disability benefits at the time of her death. Will her son who is 5 be eilgible to reveive any social security benefits? sHE WAS DRAWING SSI FROM HER DECEASED FATHERS SSI SINCE SHE WAS 4. hE WORKED BUT SHE HAS NEVER BEEN ABLE TO WORK DUE TO BACK SURGERY AND MENTAL ILLNESS.

  • manuelcoffey

    I have three kids my wife past years ago, when my oldest turn 18 his check stopped, my two other kids got an increase which still made it almost as getting three checks.I need to know when my second child turn 18 in a few months will my youngest child get the whole amount ? will my youngest get over $1800.00 amonth? If you can repond to this letter it will help out a whole lot .

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  • cynthia waid

    My girlfriend commited suicide when her daughter was 10 years old. My girlfriend raised her daughter all by herself , she had always worked and had no contact with the father of her daughter over the years. How much a month would the daughter recieve from survivor's benefits? Will she continue to recieve the benefits when she goes to college and for how long? Thank you

  • bbkris

    can i ask you a question

    • TomaszStasiuk

      You just did!

      But if you want an answer, keep in mind that I don’t provide legal advice in comments. That means I cannot answer, “here is my situation… what will happen?” questions.

      This site provides general information. If you need answers based on your specific circumstances, contact SSA directly or speak with a lawyer in your area.

  • B A Scherff

    I’m ranting if that’s alright? First off my father passed away when I was 6, my check that my mom gets to support this family stops at age 16, I’m currently 15 now and how do they expect me to get a job at 16 and make that much a year; ridiculous and what i can’t stand the fact and the point I’m trying to make is, on this show i recently watched called 16 and pregnant , for having a child at 16 they make $250,000 for just being on that dumb ass show excuse my language, which is absolutely pointless and they did to themselves and basically getting rewarded for their fault, when i didn’t ask for my father to die as to many others in the deceased parent situation! If you know were I’m trying to come across from this please feel free to reply!

    • B A Scherff

      Sorry if the grammar is horrible, I guess all i can do now is get a great education which any one in my situation deserves and a great job!

    • B A Scherff

      oh and contact me at

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Thanks for commenting. And commenting. And commenting. :)

      Social Security has different kinds of survivors’ benefits:
      Social Security pays benefits to the surviving parent. This article provides more information:

      However, there are also benefits paid to the child of a deceased parent. Children’s benefits end 18 (or 19 if still in high school):

    • Michellezahrte

      If your spouse dies leaving you to take care of children under the age of 16, you may be entitled to Mother’s and Father’s benefits (commonly called parent’s benefits) under Social Security.
      These are separate from the benefits the children may be entitled to based on the death (or disability) of a parent.

    • MichelleZahrte

      You most likely qualify for benefits of your own as a surviving child, your mother is receiving benefits as a surviving parent.

  • B A Scerff

    Sorry if that was somewhat irrelevant to this topic but it was getting to me!

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  • J_rodleb

    I have two children, there mom passed away and both were recieving a check. Question, when the oldest child turns 18 his check stopped. Does the money that he was getting go to the younger child. Or does the benefit stay the same?

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Take a look at

  • hillary

    my dad died when i was 1. i currently get money from that and im 17 almost 18. i graduate this year and i’ll be attending college full time. do i still get the money?

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Hi Hillary, take a look at

      For specifics about your case, contact your local SSA office.

  • Veronicaguerrero34

    3 years old daughter ,father just passed away now I do,nt think he worked for to long is she able to get any benefits

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  • zack bruner

    hey thanks for the post! i have 2 important ?’s maybe you could help me with. First off, Im 17 years old and ive been getting social security from both of my parents being deceased. I live in Georgia,Ive been told since ive been getting the check that if im a full-time student id get the check until i was 25. Is that true? Also, if I get a part-time job for like 12 hrs. a week would my benefits be affected?? Thanks

    • TomaszStasiuk

      When Social Security children’s survivor’s benefits end is discussed here:

      For specific information about your benefits, I encourage you to contact Social Security directly.

  • guest1223

    can a child recieve money directly ?

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  • Kapraimua

    I have some questions, my brother died 2 yrs ago and his son recieved survial benefits. Questions, if the money is misappropiately used from the mother and paying for her new born and her boyfriend’s car insurance, where can I get info regarding appropiate use for the child who is recieving benefit. Please help me…

  • Kapraimua

    I’m just so frustrated, my nephew is living off my deceased brother’s benefit, but my nephew’s mother, not my bro’s ex wife they were just boyfriend and girlfriend, is living off with my nephew’s benefit and miss using my nephew’s benefit. My nephew asked his mom where is his money going to, in front me and my mother. This just breaks my heart and pissing me off. Desperately need some info…

    • TomaszStasiuk

      This thread discusses a similar situation:

      For specific information about possible misuse of benefits, I encourage you to contact Social Security.

  • Tete8339

    My grandsons father is decreased.  Their father applied for Social Security but never received it when he was alive.  Can my grandchildren received social security benefits?

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Maybe. Depends on whether the father was fully insured and 5 criteria discussed in the article. 

      For specific information about entitlement to survivor’s benefits, I encourage you to contact Social Security.

  • pattyp

    I have a child whose deceased father paid very little soc sec. Is there any other benefits i can get for her

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Based on what you describe, whether the father died “fully insured” may be an issue. I cannot answer that. You need to contact SSA to see what they say. 

  • Meganjc07

    Hi, um about this. My dad is 58 years old and me and my sister are 15 & 12. They just cut off our social security without telling us! We have bills to pay. We usually only have $120-140 dollors left for grocery’s and gas. Can you help me?

    • TomaszStasiuk

      I cannot offer to help you. Encourage your dad to contact SSA to find out why the benefits were stopped. There should have been some communication, usually a letter, before any action was taken. The letter would describe the reason and the appeal rights. If your father no longer has this, SSA should be able to provide a copy, or at least say what has happened. Keep in mind that time limits apply to any appeals. So, it important to take action quickly. Your dad may also want to contact a lawyer in his area to get legal advice.

  • Jazer Infp Strozier

    Ok I used to live with my mom and she passed nov 8 2011 the SSI is still sending letters here saying that she will get benefits in March if they send a check here (even though I don’t qualify I am 23 i am a part time student and I am not disabled) can I still cash the check maybe I need to become a full time student

    • TomaszStasiuk

      You need to contact SSA about your mother’s death and the check you received.

  • Eileen

    My childrens father was killed at 18 are they entitled to benefits??

    • TomaszStasiuk

      The deceased parent had to be fully insured for the children to be eligible for survivors’ benefits. Only Social Security can tell you if that was the case. Give your local Social Security office a call and ask if your children are eligible for any benefits on their deceased father’s Social Security earning’s record.

      Good luck Eileen!

      • Felisha

        My mom was 45 when she past away I started receiving ssi at 18 INTILL I was 19 years old but I was still a student in high school .they stop giving it too me but I still didn’t graduate high school yet…how would that work will they have to pay me that back pay I didn’t get even tho I’m 24 years old now?

  • Fjperkins

    my nephew  dad died wen he was 4 yrs old an is getting soc sec he is 18 now an is in the 12 grade. he will be 19 in april an he will not pass the 12 grade cuz he doesnt keep his grades up. he will half to do 12 grade again nxt yr. will his soc sec be cut off at 19 in april or will he keep getting soc sec till he finshes high school. also if he was to get married will his soc sec be cut off.

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Take a look at

    • Melissa

      It will be cut off either when he graduates or 2 months after his 19th birthday whichever comes first.

  • Ldralle829

    My dad was in the military and we found a life insurance policy for $20,000, who gets this money his Adult age kids?  or his new wife of 30days?

    • Ryan_1002

      If it was his Military SGLI it would be who ever he named beneficiary or if he left it “by law” if would be his wife even if it was for 1 day

  • Shebautt48

    my dad pass away over 3 yrs ago. i,m 48 i heard i can draw of my dad. is that true? thank u

  • Aranaja666

    My mother passed away on Jan.22 and for the month of February i recieved her s.s.i check and cashed it cause it was stated to me that since she passed after the 15 of the month she was still entitled for it? can you clarify this for me PLEASE and Thank You..

    • TomaszStasiuk

      According to Social Security ( “If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the  benefit received for the month of death or any later months.”

      “If A Beneficiary Dies – Let us know if a person receiving Social Security benefits dies. Benefits are not payable for the month of death. That means if the person died any time in July, for example, the check received in August (which is payment for July) must be returned. If direct deposit is used, also notify the financial institution of the death as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death.”

  • Marroquin Arnold

    I am 19 years of age, my father was murdered about 5 years ago back in his country.( Guatemala) I am a full time student and struggle financially. I contacted Social Security and said they couldn’t help me since I was already in college. Does anyone know of any way to get help financially by his death? Bastard was never around, want his death to atleast help me with something. If no one knows by any govt. help, how about any grants?

  • 5starprincesss

    i just turned 19 and am currently still in high school how can i still get survivors benefits….   

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Take a look at:

  • Mischka

    Hi, I hope you can help me. Our mother died at the hands of her husband many years ago. She left behind a 19yr old, 17 yr old, 14yr old and 9yr old, all full time college/secondary school students. The 2 older kids were away at college, and we doubt if the 2 younger ones ever received SS checks. The husband ended up in jail for her murder a few years later. My basic question here is: can her husband receive her benefits? And can her kids receive her benefits even though we never ‘claimed’ them?

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  • sandra

    My daughter father pass away 8 month ago ,He filed taxes for 10 years with an ITIN #, can she still receive benefits?

    • TomaszStasiuk

      There is quite a bit of information needed to answer that question. Contact your local Social Security office or call the toll free national number at 1-800-772-1213 and they will walk you through it.

  • Toms82

    My dad died before my mom told him about me and I am wondering if I can still collect his benefits even though he died 28 years ago considering that I was a child and had no way of fixing this on my own back then?

  • Keiff

    My Step Daughter will be 14 next month. Her biological father died of a drug overdose this past weekend. He was technically still in his second marriage (in process of divorce) and had another child with her (my step daughter’s half sister). He served 2 tours in Afghanistan in the US Army and afterwards, was a deep sea diver.

    Will his second wife and daughter get all the Survivor’s benefits or does my Step Daughter have rights to any of them?

    • Melissa

      Your Step Daughter is also entitled to her part of her Dad’s SSA. Both children will receive the exact amount.

  • Zachary Watkins

    My mother died at the age of 42. I was 8 at the time. I know my sisters and I recieve benefits through my father, but I no longer live with him. Is there any way I can get this money??I am currently 17.



    • TomaszStasiuk

      I encourage you to contact SSA ( 1-800-772-1213 ) for information about your specific circumstances.



  • kimberly

    my sons biological father passed away when my son was three..we just found this out..he is now 19..and a full time college student..can he file for the death benefits now

    • tlynnprice

      SS benefits stop at age 18 no matter what. Our granddaughter just turned 18 and is now in college. She asked it the benefits would continue and they told her no. Her birthday is in July and she has received no check since June. Thank God her mom left her life insurance which she got when she turned 18. It has helped her tremendously!

  • tlynnprice

    My daughter passed away in 2008. Her son has been living with his father and getting SS. His father abused him so the DSS took legal custody and placed him in our care (we are his maternal grandparents). He has been with us for almost 2 months. Do his death benefits come to us to help support him? We have received no financial help at all. We have used all our savings and need help to provide the food, clothing, etc. that he needs. We are running out of money and need help. Shouldn’t his death benefit monies be going where he is to help support him?

    • TomaszStasiuk

      My understanding is that the benefits should follow the child since they are for his/her benefit. Contact Social Security 1-800-772-1213 to see if the benefits are being properly handled in your grandson’s case.

      • tlynnprice


      • tlynnprice

        I contacted SS and they told me they have asked him to return the monies but because it is less than $50,000.00 they would not pursue it. They admitted it was fraud but $2,500.00 was now worth going after. I guess a little fraud is ok with them. He was also told to return the monies by the family court judge. He told the judge he had spent it, so the judge told us to take it up with SS and they would fine, imprison him or both if he didn’t return the monies. SS won’t do anything. That’s ok, though. At least we have our grandson now, he is now safe and he will no longer be abused!!!

  • sweetjam209

    my sons father passed away and had been receiving social security for years. during the time of his death he wasn’t getting any benefits. i was wondering if my 11yr old son is able to get social security still? his father i believe was in the process of trying to get his benefits started again

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Your son might be eligible for survivor’s benefits. As noted above the father had to be “fully insured.” Your local SSA office can walk you though the process. Good luck!

  • Justn

    My mom has had full legal custody of her niece and nephew since the age of 3 months (now16) and 6 months (now14). She just recently passed and the guardianship turned over to me. Can they receive her benefits?

  • crystal

    My boyfriend died in a car accident and I found out I was pregnant after the fact. My first daughter was his child and was adopted by family members. His family as of now wants nothing to do with me. Is it still possible for me to get benefits? I don’t know if he earned enough credits. I/we didn’t discuss what would happen he was only 27.

  • Amy

    The father of my minor children died last year. Both kids are currently getting benefits. My oldest will be 18 in a few months. Can I get an increase for the second minor child once that happens?

  • beckey

    My mom died, so my sisters and i got some amount of benefits, however we were under the age of 18 so it all went to my dad. how can i find out the amount he got for all three of us children?

  • summer

    My dad died and it’s been 4 years and I didn’t receive anything I just turned 18 I don’t know what to do.

  • rosalie clasper

    Hi, i was married to a CANADIAN PENSIONER in Philippines. We have 2 children, both minors.. Are these children qualifed to have SS support, when theyre outside Canada? The father and I were separated, but their dad had supported them since the day we agreed till the day of his death. As a single mom, i cant give my children a goodlife in my country. Pls help. Kids have passport and theyre citi

  • GoldStar

    I was wondering if a child’s parent is deceased and the child is receiving social security and the child’s mother is receiving social security as the child’s care giver, is the mother allowed to have earned income?

  • worried_Nana

    My son recently died and left a 3 yr old son. The childs mother comes and sees him about once a week for a few hours. The child lives with me and my husband but we dont have legal custody. We do keep very close records of the time that we have him as well as any incidents that occur. The childs mother is now asking me for a death certificate and other documents so she can apply for benefits for my grandson. She doesnt even have him most of the time! Is there any way I can apply for the benefits for him with me as the person receiving it for him so I can make sure it is put into a savings account for him and to make sure he has everything he needs? Its unfair that his mother will take his benefits and live off them while WE are the ones raising him! What can i do? I cant afford to hire a lawyer to try and get custody.

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Get in touch with your local Social Security office or call the national line at 1-800-772-1213. Hopefully, they can help you out. Good luck!

      • mouse

        Going through same thing. My son recently passed. He was a single father. Mom hardly ever had the child. Now all of a sudden, she is #1 MOM because theres money involved. She is already getting the SS benefits & spending every penny of it. I expected this money to go into a account for my grandchild for college etc..What can I do???

        • Jennifer King Raymundo

          go to court! u do not need to hire a lawyer to get custody go to court immediatly the court clerk for family court will tell u what to fill out and what u need to do u can then be appointed a lawyer through the courts or a law guardian for the child . these women, the mothers of the children i mean should be ashamed. and whoever runs this site should also for not answering these important questions!

    • pam

      i have the same concerns???

  • sam

    My father past away 21 years ago June 5 1993. My mother was 8 months pregnant with me. I was born July 1 1993. I was recently explained I needed to go apply n get his benifits. Am I still eligible or do I even have a chance?

    • Rachel Aguren

      Your father died the day I was born, in sorry for your loss.

  • Mary Murray

    Question: A child is in college and her mother passed 4 weeks ago and she has no source of income and the father isn’t in her life. What should she do to get help?

  • Iesha Ragsdale

    My mother died 8 days before I turned 18. I am now 23. Am I still available to draw ssi from her?

  • shab79

    My daughters father passed away in 08, she recieves Caresource benefits from the government. I am working now but want to keep her on her government program because she is eligible until she’s 26 as a full time student. Do I apply at Social Security . GOV or do I facilitate that through Job and Family Services? Do I even need to do anything at all or will her coverage just continue.

  • Tracy Rathbun

    My children are teenagers and both have social security benefits coming in. My question is that they both work for their spending money (I use the benefit money for food, clothes, shelter, etc.) How much money can they made before they have to pay taxes? My son turned 18 in August, so he is no longer getting any, but had it for part of the year. My daughter is 16 and she still gets the full amount and works.

  • Brandi

    I have a 6 yr old child. His father passed away 5 mths ago. There was never a paternity test. Is there anything I can do to get my child benefits?

  • higs

    Why would the living parent receive the social security from the deceased parent when it belongs to the child?

    • TomaszStasiuk

      Two separate things: a child can be entitled to SSA benefits after a parent dies AND a surviving spouse may also receive benefits while taking care of the child.

      • higs

        My mother was literally taking my s.s benefits from my father when he passed, I was 4,and when i just turned 18 in September I got the benefits

      • summer

        My dad died when I was 14 but years before. That he lost his arm so i know he had disability my dad family told me I was supposed to recieve money. But its been 5 years

  • Brandi

    Tomasz, I was pregnant when my daughter father was killed and he had an on-going SSDI claim. She was just granted Survivors benefits after me getting DNA through the coroner, going to court and getting an order. His mother is over his estate and is handling the SSDI case. If its granted, will my daughter get any benefits although she wasn’t born yet?

    • Nanny


  • Ginger Lay

    My husband past away jan 6th 2015…our daughters are receiving ssi and so is his son that has never been a part of his life. The mom had him sign over his parental rights. Does he still receive ssi benefits even if my husband signed over his rights?

    • roger

      I have the same question.

  • Kiia

    Could I Recieve My Grandmother Benefits Once She Has Passed Away , Knowing That She’s Wanting To Leave It To Me

  • Denise Minor

    If a grandmother has been the beneficiary of your ssi check after your parents died once I turn 18 do I get to start getting the checks and for how long?

  • mm

    How long does it take after applyint for surviiyrs benifits for my son for him to recieve them

    • roger

      It shouldn’t take that long after took my wifes children it took little a month.

  • roger

    My children’s mother just passed yesterday 3-7-15 but she signed her rights away and we’ll as I did for certain reasons. Can her children collect death benefits still? Can I collect death benefits even tho we were divorced? Can my parents get deth benefits because that’s who has leagle custody?

    • pat

      Shame on you trying to collect money from your ex dead wife

  • Beewdee

    My sister passed away and has a 14 year old daughter. She thought signing a will and a power of attorney form made me the beneficiary but we were told the power of attorney died when she did. Her Life insurance, 401K and personal checking account are inaccessible because her minor daughter is the beneficiary. Until I figure out things I would like to know what steps to take to ensure her daughter gets her SS benefits. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.

  • Max

    When I was 17 my dad passed away. I’m 18 now, and a highschool student that will be attending college in the fall. I get some sort of survivor/student benefit every month. My mother told me it was for the family and makes me sign it over each month and I would get in trouble with social security if I tried to keep it for myself. Is this money truly for the family or am I entitled to the full amount?

    • Nanny

      It’s all yours. Please get educated with Social Security. It’s only your money. Your mother is being deceptive. Good luck!

    • ALM

      Max, the money is technically yours although your mother, as your adult guardian, is your payee and does control it. However, since you are now 18, you can go to your local Social Security office and ask to be your own payee. You should also know that the benefits will end when you graduate from high school. Survivor benefits only continue until age 18 or until graduation if it is after 18. You cannot count on this money to continue until after 18,

  • nyc

    I was raped by my brother father and had my daughter at the age of 14. She is now 19, and he died in 2005 and I just found out that my brother receives ssi. Is my daughter supposed to get that as well? my mother never told me anything and I never knew to ask.

  • Nancy Edwards

    I was 14 my father passed in the 1980 never knew till know his wife didn’t let us no is there a way to collect his soc security benefits even though I am age but didn’t no he was deceased

  • Courtney

    I’m 17, my dad passed away when I was 14. Me & my brother both receive social security benefits & my mom gets mine & my brothers mom gets his which i understand because we’re both minors. But I turn 18 in September. So when I turn 18 will I be able to become the beneficial payee for my check ? Also, I heard the check goes on until I graduate highschool , but if I’m a full time student in college will I still receive the benefits ?

    • Brooke

      I had the same thing happen after my dad passed away. Before you turn 18 you file saying you still haven’t graduated high school and it should remain until your graduation day. They don’t give it to students anymore unfortunately from what I undersatnd. At least not in my state.

  • josh

    i am 17 about to be 18 and i get benefits for when my dad died and i was wondering if i could receive the benefits while im still 17 instead of it going to my guardian?


      Hi , I am 17 about to be 18 and going into college as a full time student and my mom takes all of my fathers social security and I need money for college but myom take the entire check every month and I am stuck on my own. I was wondering if you have gotten your situation resolved and if you have could you tell me what I can do?

  • Melissa Moore

    I have 2 children, 11 and 13. Their father died when they were babies (2007). I have applied 2xs already. They keep telling me that my children cannot receive any benefits or a final death payment because he was short 3 quarters of taxes. Meaning he didn’t pay in enough quarterly. You need 13.
    I know someone that died and never worked but her children draw. Just wondering what I can do? I was told there was a special account set aside for kids with parents that have passed away. I work 2 jobs and my kids are well taking care of, I just like for them to get what their entitled to.

  • Mackenzie Trost

    Myfather died when i was 2, and i get money from him, can i do online schooiling and will we still receive the monthly check?

  • Jadlyn

    My dad died three years ago and my sister and I recieve benefits from him. My mom seems to think that if I get a job that my benefits will be affected and therefore doesn’t want me to get one. Is this true? Please help! Thanks!

  • Ryaninmacon

    my fiance passed when she was 19 only worked maybe 6 months can my daughter get SS benifits

  • JJ

    I received this question from my deceased brother’s (u.s. citizen living in the Philippines)girlfriend: “Is our baby girl entitled to her father’s social security benefits?” The only information I have is that they lived together for 4 years and have a 3 year-old child. He was 68 at the time of death and the child/mother are in the Philippines.

  • Nik

    My father passed away when I was 6, my mother never attempted to collect any social security benefits… I’m now 34 and just curious if collecting that is an option. Thank you.

  • Kimmie

    Hi, my daughters father just passed away and I did not ever order him to pay child support, but he did pay here and there. He probably paid $7K over 18 years, but was never ordered to because I was afraid of him. The oldest daughter is 18 and a full time student and my youngest daughter is 16, will she receive ss benefits? If so, how do I go about getting the benefits for her?

  • nick

    both of my parents passed when I was 8, I have been receiving soc sec from my mom but never got anything from my dad. im 18 now, am I entitled to my fathers? if anything I should receive the difference right? my dad deffinetly made more my mom who was a stay at home mom. thank you and someone help me and l,et me know soon please.

  • Max

    My mother passed in 1964..I was 12..until this date I still have not received a social security check. Why?

    • LILO stitch

      Whoever took care of you at the time needed to go the social security office and apply to receive the benefits.

  • John

    My son who was born to two disabled adults lived with my parents since day one .. We had a shared parenting agreement later on when he was two he lived with his disabled mother for five months but then that when we entered into a shared parenting agreement … son continue to live with my parents until age of 7 then back and forth with me and disabled girlfriend .. Later on she was able to get off disability we broke up and I don’t know where she is …she works as a stripper and no longer on disability but still has bi polar amount other things.. My dad just died my son grandfather can he claim survivor benefits . He was claim as a dependent his whole life on my dad taxes and he was supported by my parents 90 per cent …

  • nancy jenkins

    A man who is 65 and his wife age 60 have legal custody of their two grandchildren, ages 9 and 10. The wife dies, the man then retires to stay home with his grandchildren. Are the children entitled to benefits?

  • courtney

    My mom went to prison , and now i live with my grandparents, they receive the money, i am still a student in school, ill be 18 in oct, but will still be in school, can i get the money sent to me if i decide to move out

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Can a child get Social Security benefits if a parent dies?

Can a child get Social Security benefits if their mother or father dies?

Children can be entitled to receive Social Security child’s benefits if the deceased parent was fully insured by Social Security and if they meet 5 tests:

  1. The child is the insured person’s child. See §§404.355 through 404.359;
  2. The child is dependent on the insured. See §§404.360 through 404.365;
  3. The child applies for benefits;
  4. The child is unmarried; and
  5. The child is under age 18; – OR – 18 years old or older and has a disability that began before the child became 22 years old; – OR – the child is 18 years or older and qualifies for benefits as a full-time student in a primary or secondary school as described in §404.367.

See 20 CFR 404.350 for more information.

Updated 04/30/09.

Published by

Tomasz Stasiuk

Disability and Estate Planning Attorney - Visit me at