Most people don't think of kids when they think of social security. However, you may be surprised to know that social security paid out benefits to more then 4.2 million children in 2017. This is because benefits for children are just one type of family benefit paid by social security. Social security also pays spousal, and ex-spousal, benefits. Children may receive social security benefits when either one or both parents are disabled, retired or deceased.
There are a variety of situations in which your social security benefits can actually go to a family member, including a spouse or child. One such situation is referred to as "child in care" benefits. This type of benefit is paid to a spouse of any age who is not entitled to normal spousal benefits but who exercises parental responsibilities for a child under 16, or a disabled child under 22 years old. Another type of benefit is referred to as the "children's benefit." This type of benefit is paid directly to a child's representative for a child up to age 18.
While social security benefits may be available to assist children and spouses, these benefits are not without limitation. For instance, all beneficiaries of either type, child in care or children's benefits, are subject to the annual earnings limitation as well as a family maximum limitation.
The qualifications, availability and limitations of social security benefits for children and spouses can be complicated and confusing. The important thing to know is that these benefits may be available to your family and you consult with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to help you find out if your family qualifies and assist with the application process.
Source: Forbes.com, Social Security Benefits: Don't Forget the Kids, Tom R. Hager, May 7, 2018.