Back

Program Description

A child may be able to get Child's Insurance Benefits if one or both parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. Under certain circumstances, the following children may also qualify for benefits:

  • Stepchild
  • Grandchild
  • Step-grandchild
  • Adopted child.

Read Benefits for Children (PDF, 159 KB) for more details.

General Program Requirements

A child must have one of the following to qualify for benefits:

  • A parent who is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, or
  • A parent who died after earning enough Social Security credits.

The child must also meet the conditions below:

  • Be unmarried,
  • Be younger than age 18, or
  • Be age 18-19 and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12), or
  • Be age 18 or older and disabled. (The disability must have begun before age 22).

Application Process

Visit the Information You Need To Apply for Child’s Benefits – Form SSA-4 page for details on how to apply.

Use the SSA Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) on Benefits.gov to find if you qualify for other Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. When you complete the questionnaire, you get a list of benefits to review. You can print this page for your records.

When you know which benefits you may apply for, click Apply for Social Security Benefits to apply online. You can also call the phone numbers below to learn more about SSA benefits and how to apply.

Last Updated: 08/08/2018