Social Security Child's Insurance Benefits

Program Description

Social Security Child’s Insurance Benefits are federally funded. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) administers these benefits for children whose parents (one or both):

  • Have worked and earned enough Social Security credits; and
  • Are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, 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; and
  • Dependent on the parent; and
  • Younger than age 18; or 
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or 
  • 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22. 

Under certain circumstances, a stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild, or adopted child may also qualify for Child's Insurance Benefits. 

If you would like to find out if you may be eligible for any of the benefits SSA administers, complete 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 benefit.

Application Process

Once you know which benefits you can apply for, visit 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)