When I Retire, Do My Underage Children Receive Social Security Benefits?


As the average age of first-time parents has risen over the years, The New York Times reports that more people may reach retirement age with minor children still living in their household. According to a study conducted by economist Caitlyn Myers, the average age of first-time mothers today is 26 years old, up from 21 in 1972. The average age of fathers has increased from 27 to 31.


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This may leave many Generation X and millennial parents wondering whether their minor children will be eligible for Social Security benefits upon their parents’ retirement. According to the Social Security Administration, the answer is: It depends.

Understanding the circumstances under which your children under the age of 18 may qualify for Social Security benefits can assist you in planning for retirement and even in determining when to begin collecting benefits.

A qualifying child may be biological or adopted, a stepchild, or a dependent grandchild.

Additionally, they must be single and under the age of 18. A full-time high school student, on the other hand, may collect benefits until the age of 19. If a child becomes disabled as a result of a condition that existed prior to the age of 22, they may continue to receive benefits indefinitely.

Children’s benefits do not reduce your own. They could account for up to half of your own retirement benefit. However, the Social Security Administration imposes a family maximum of 150 to 180 percent of the parent’s full benefit.


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If your child works while you are retired, the amount of their benefit may be reduced to reflect their income.

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