Program Description

Social Security Child’s Insurance Benefits are federally funded. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) administers these benefits for children whose parents (one or both):

  • Have worked and earned enough Social Security credits; and
  • Are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, or deceased.

When a parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help to stabilize the family’s financial future.

General Program Requirements

To qualify for this benefit, a child must be:

  • Unmarried; and
  • Dependent on the parent; and
  • Younger than age 18; or 
  • 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. 

Under certain circumstances, a stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild, or adopted child may also qualify for Child's Insurance Benefits. 

Based on the information you gave, you currently get benefits based on a parent's work record. However, if you have more than one parent who is either deceased or who receives Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you could get a higher benefit on the other parent's record.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

Visit the Apply For Social Security Benefits webpage to apply online.

Program Contact Information

Would you like more information about child insurance benefits? 
Visit SSA’s Publications Home Page and review "Social Security Benefits for Children”, Social Security Publication Number 05-10085.

Would you like more information about social security credits?
Visit SSA’s Publications Home Page and review "Social Security: How You Earn Credits," Social Security Publication Number 05-10072.

Or for additional information on this and any SSA benefit, call:
1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)

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