Program Description

The Social Security Child’s Insurance Benefits are a federally funded program managed by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are for children whose parents (one or both) are disabled, retired, 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
  • Younger than age 18
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12)
  • 18 or older and disabled (The disability must have started before age 22)
  • Meet the dependency requirements

A child can get benefits if he or she is a biological child, adopted child or stepchild (In some cases, your child also could be eligible for benefits on his or her Grandparents’ earnings). A child can also get benefits if the parent died after having worked long enough in a job where he or she paid social security taxes.

If you would like to find out if you may be eligible for any of the benefits SSA administers, take SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

Once you have completed the eligibility screening questionnaire, you will be provided with a list of benefits for which you may be eligible. Print this page for your records before going to the application site.

Your Next Steps

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

Application Process

Once you know which benefits you can apply for visit the the Apply For Social Security Benefits webpage to apply online.

Program Contact Information

Visit SSA’s Publications home page for detailed information about SSA programs and policies.

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