When people think of social security benefits, they generally think of a payout to parents who have retired or sustained a disability. However, there are situations in which minor dependent children can receive a benefit based upon their parent’s activities. If this is of interest to you, hiring a lawyer well-versed in social security law will go a long way towards obtaining the benefit you are seeking as they will be able to properly identify if such an option is available to you and your family members.

3 Situations Where Children Can Receive Social Security Benefits

1. When a Parent Retires

When a parent retires and collects a retirement benefit, the minor dependent children are also entitled to a social security benefit worth 50% of the parent’s primary insurance amount. The payout is restricted to an overall family maximum that ranges between 150-180% of the primary benefit. To qualify as a minor dependent child, the child must be under the age of 18, or 19 and still in high school. Children can be defined as being biological, adopted and step-children.

2. When a Parent or Child Becomes Disabled

LawyerIn an instance where a parent becomes disabled, children are entitled to 50% of the parent’s disability benefit, subject to an overall family maximum. If it is the child themselves who become disabled, they will qualify for Social Security benefits if they have a mental or physical condition that very seriously limits their activities. Social security requires that the serious limitations last for at least one year.

3. When a Parent Dies

As a survivor, each child is entitled to 75% of the parent’s primary insurance amount. However, the amount is subject to an overall family maximum benefit which ranges between 150-180% of the primary benefit.


If you need to file for social security benefits for your minor dependent children, our lawyers at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates LLC want to be a part of the process. Serving La Crosse, WI, residents for over 20 years, the staff treats our clients like family and work tirelessly to achieve the desired results. Call (608) 784-4370 today to schedule a consultation, and visit our website for more information.